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10 January, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Partially built JU swimming pool ‘safe haven’ for drug addicts

PLABON TARIQUE, JU

Thirty-eight years on, the only swimming pool of Jahangirnagar University (JU) is still incomplete and lacking in maintenance funds. The abandoned facility turns into a safe haven for drug addicts in the evening.

According to the JU physical education office, the swimming pool had only been used for eight years since its partial construction in 1978. A total of Tk. 42 lakh had been allotted to construct it, but the pool was only partly built as a portion of that money was spent in building the Selim Al Deen Mukto Manch and other infrastructural units.
Various equipment and instruments of the pool have been stolen over time, including the gate, stairs and staircase handrails, in the absence of adequate security. Students are forced to swim in the unsafe ponds and lakes on the campus as the swimming pool remains unusable.
Mamun Ur Rashid, a third-year student of the anthropology department, said: “A swimming pool is very important for extra-curricular activities in a university. In the absence of a well-maintained swimming pool, we sometimes use the ponds and lakes on the campus, resulting in an occasional tragedy. It’s a matter of regret that the university authorities are not bothered.”
On May 24, 2016, Jamilur Rahman Jishan, a second-year archaeology student, drowned in the Teachers’ Club lake while swimming with friends.
A visit to the abandoned swimming pool revealed the water to be contaminated with PET bottles, plastic bags, and food packets. The surrounding bushes created an eerie atmosphere. The area turns into a safe haven for drug addicts in evening as it is situated beside the botanical garden, a somewhat deserted zone of the campus. 
There have been incidents of female students and visitors falling victims to snatchers or being subjected to sexual harassment in the area.
When asked about the pool’s sorry state, JU physical education department director Md Sifatullah said: “We couldn't complete the construction work of the swimming pool complex due to lack of initiative on the part of the university authorities. Now, we need at least Tk. 2 crore to complete it. But the authorities allocate only Tk. 40 lakh for the overall annual expenditure of the department. So, we're unable to take any step to repair the pool complex.”
When contacted, JU registrar Abu Bakar Siddique said: “We're working to have a new and modern swimming pool. We've already applied to the government for funds. We want to start the work as soon as we get the money.”
JU pro-vice chancellor Prof. Abul Hossain said: “It’s a matter of regret that we don't have a well-maintained swimming pool. Our university’s allocated money in the yearly budget is used to meet different needs each year. That is why we're unable to raise the general budget of the physical education department and maintain its related infrastructure. But we're trying to collect funds in this regard.”

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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