JALUKBARI, May 30 - The Gauhati University boys� hostels, most of which were established decades back, urgently need repair and renovation as the present boarders are passing their days in great discomfort.
The south campus consists of three boys� hostels: RCC-1, RCC-2 and the Babu Jagjivan Ram Hostel for research scholars. Altogether 230 boarders are at present occupying the three hostels.
The hostel prefects, while talking to this correspondent, revealed the varied problems they are facing.
There is a general agreement among all the hostel prefects that the water supplied to these hostels is not fit for bathing and washing clothes and some skin problems have surfaced among many boarders. Another common problem faced by these hostels is the monkey menace. Monkeys that come down from the surrounding hills and jungles in large numbers, vandalise everything they find in an around the hostels. The boarders cannot dry their clothes out in the sun, nor can they open their windows for fear of monkeys.
The apes, which enjoy a free run in the entire GU area, have even broken windows in some of the hostel rooms and these need urgent repair. The septic tank of RCC-1 is full to the brim and has started giving out an unbearable stench, besides posing a serious health threat to the hostel boarders. Mosquitoes have added to the woes of the boarders. According to them elaborate fogging is the need of the hour to check the mosquito menace.
Repair/replacement of the old electrical wiring in some of the hostels is long overdue. The electrical wires that have outlived their utility period, cause frequent short circuits. The boarders of RCC-1 face the problem of seepage of rainwater through the roof during the rainy season. Consequently boarders of some rooms in this hostel have to shift to other rooms.
According to the prefect of Babu Jagjivan Ram Hostel in the south campus, the hostel does not have a proper library. There is also no proper news standee. Further, the hostel lacks a permanent cook, which adds to the boarders� discomfort.
Absence of a proper concrete boundary wall invites unwanted visitors like snakes, huge lizards and insects into the hostels, especially during monsoon. On several occasions even poisonous snakes like cobras have been found inside the hostel rooms in the south campus.
The Satmile campus (western side of the university) houses seven boys� hostels: Assam Type-4 (AT-4), AT-5, AT-6, AT-7, RCC-3, RCC-4 and a hostel for research scholars. The total capacity of these hostels together is around 270.
In some of the big rooms shared by three boys, only one fan is in service, which is grossly inadequate. The hostel boarders feel that at least two fans should be provided in a room shared by three boys. The drainage system of RCC-4 is in a pathetic condition. Stench emanating from some of the drains nearby makes it difficult for the hostel windows to be opened.
Like the hostels of the south campus the hostels of Satmile campus also are deprived of quality water fit for bathing and washing clothes. Some skin-related problems have surfaced in these hostels also. The water purifier installed in RCC-3 Boys� Hostel is out of service and needs urgent repair/restoration, according to the boarders. The electrical wiring too is quite old and needs repair/replacement urgently. Some electrical tubes and bulbs too are out of service and need to be replaced.
Boarders of the two boys� hostels: Assam Type-8 (AT-8) and AT-9 located in the north campus which were established long ago, also have their tales of woe to tell. The walls of some of the rooms have started falling apart and need urgent repair. The drainage system here is not properly maintained. As the highway has been constructed just behind this campus, the natural flow of drainwater from the hostels of this campus has been badly hampered. As a result, many vector-borne diseases are common amongst the boarders of this campus.
Some prefects also demand that the central library of the university be kept open 24 hours a day throughout the week. Some boarders complain that the food they get to eat is bland and tasteless. There is also a common feeling among all the prefects that if the authority can provide subsidised cooking gas to the hostels it will be of much help for the financially weak students.