Jamalpur Sheikh Hasina Medical College has collapsed 22 buildings

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Md. Omar Faruk Jalal

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The buildings of Sheikh Hasina Medical College in Jamalpur are lying down. Medical students have to go two kilometers away from the hostel for classes. In the beginning, classes were held in the tin room of Sadar Hospital, sometimes in a dilapidated building, sometimes in an abandoned building. The practical class did not go well. There is no place for teachers and students to sit, no good food and drink facilities, no necessary manpower. Future doctors are learning from such a sad situation. Already, three batches of students on their way to becoming doctors have left the medical college after completing their studies.

Due to the lack of its own building, the teaching of the students of Sheikh Hasina Medical College in Jamalpur has been going on for years in such a ‘deenless’ environment. The construction of 22 buildings of the medical college has been completed but they are lying unused. However, teaching activities have somehow started in a building under construction since last July.

The construction of 22 buildings for the Sheikh Hasina Medical College Hospital on 35 acres of land in Chotghar and Monirajpur of Jamalpur town is almost complete. They have not yet been explained to the concerned authorities. Many buildings are falling apart due to lack of maintenance. Despite the construction of so many buildings, the work of the hospital building has not yet started. The water in the pond where the hospital building is supposed to come up is wobbly. Two and a half months ago, a project was sent to Dhaka by the Public Works Department to build a 500-bed hospital.

Civil society representatives asked how many more days Jamalpur residents have to wait to get the benefits of the new hospital and medical college. Jamalpur Citizens Committee President Jahangir Salim said that due to the delay of the project, about 3 million people of Jamalpur and its surrounding districts are deprived of modern medical services. Critically ill patients have to go to Mymensingh and Dhaka.

Jamalpur Public Works Department is implementing the project named ‘Sheikh Hasina Medical College and Hospital and Nursing College Jamalpur’. Work on the project began in June 2016. The implementation period of the project was estimated till June 2019. The project was then extended three more times till June 2023. Later it is proposed to extend the duration of the project till June 2026. But within these seven years, the progress of the project is only 38 percent, public works sources said. Initially, the cost of this project was estimated at 716 crore 61 lakh rupees. Later it increased to 950 crore 50 lakh taka.

Currently there are 380 students and 73 teachers in the medical college. No employees have been hired.

In the project area, it was found that 22 and 4 new buildings are standing. These include two intern doctors’ dormitories, two single doctors’ accommodation, staffers’ dormitories, two emergency staff dormitories, teaching morgue, nursing college academic, nursing college hostel, mosque, electric substation, five residential quarters of different sizes, director’s and principal’s residence, laundry building and The buildings under construction for the gymnasium are falling into disrepair due to neglect and carelessness. These buildings have been lying for a long time. The premises of the building are full of bushes and garbage. Glass windows of many buildings were also broken. All the built infrastructures are abandoned.

According to the medical college authority sources, the education program of the medical college started in 2015 with 50 students. At that time there was no infrastructure. Classes begin in the old quarters of the Jamalpur 250-bed hospital and in a tin-roofed building. Since then, the college has been operating temporarily in various old, dilapidated buildings of the hospital. Students have held various programs including human chain and rally for several years demanding full campus.

The students expressed their anger and said that the complete campus has not been built even in eight years. Students are facing various problems. No good classrooms, no auditorium for students, no library, no seating for teachers, no manpower, no good catering facilities. Eight years have passed like this. Without seeing any alternative, the teachers and students decided to climb the academic building. Classes have been running since last May on the three floors of the under-construction academic building.

ASM Iqbal Hossain Chowdhury, principal of Jamalpur Sheikh Hasina Medical College, said that no medical college has started anywhere in the country with infrastructure. But yes, the education program is going on and going very well.

The cracks appearing in the newly constructed administrative building of the medical college have been repaired.
Jamalpur Public Works Department sources said that the Indian Line of Credit (LoC) was supposed to construct a 500-bed hospital building and purchase modern medical equipment at a cost of Tk 280 crore. But there were some conditions in this loan agreement. Among them, the main condition was that the construction work will be carried out by the Indian contracting company. Accordingly, in the first two rounds of tenders, the contractors asked for more than the estimated price. Due to which the process is cancelled. No one participated in the third round of tenders. Four years thus passed between calls for tenders. Later the Indian loan system was cancelled.

The Executive Engineer of Jamalpur Public Works Department confirmed the fact that the hospital construction process was canceled due to Indian loans. Mubarak Hossain said, now it has been decided to build the hospital with the funding of the Government of Bangladesh (GOB).

Public Works says that on May 29, the Public Works Department of Jamalpur has sent a new project of Tk 334 crore 96 lakh to Dhaka for the construction of a hospital. In this new project, the expenditure has been increased by 54 crore 96 lakh taka.

Ajay Kumar Pal, president of Jamalpur Conscious Citizens Committee (SANAK) said that due to the long process, students and common people are not getting the benefits of medical colleges and hospitals. So that the infrastructures do not fall down, the concerned people should take measures.

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Md. Omar Faruk Jalal

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