There are 28 colleges offering higher education, 57 technical institutions, including polytechnic and engineering, and four arts colleges managed by the state government, which will be part of the audit process. While some colleges may need repairs or renovation, the government will see if very old buildings need to be reconstructed, said minister of higher and technical education Uday Samant. “There is no data on structural fitness of colleges run by the government. Thousands of students are studying in these colleges and their safety is the government’s responsibility,” added Samant. Approximately 45,000 students are studying in government colleges in the state.
An Elphinstone College official said the administration had sent a proposal to carry out a structural audit to the public works department (PWD) but it is pending. “Since the building is a heritage structure, we do get funding from various sources from time-to-time to carry out renovation. A complete structural audit is, however, pending,” added the official. In Mumbai, apart from polytechnic and arts colleges, Sydenham and Elphinstone are government-run colleges.
A part of the roof had collapsed at Nagpur Government Medical College and Hospital last month, killing two. While medical colleges do not fall under the purview of higher and technical education department, the state does not want to take chances with students’ lives, said an official.
A principal said a similar directive should be passed for aided and unaided colleges. There should be timely audits at educational institutions across the state, he added.