Ballygunge Science College campus set for facelift; renovation work commences

Ballygunge Science College campus set for facelift; renovation work commences

kolkata: Calcutta University started restoration and rejuvenation work of Ballygunge Science College campus. The work, which is being executed by the state Public Works Department (PWD), is presently going on in full swing, braving the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

"The old building has developed cracks here and there. There have been stray incidences of chunks falling, posing a risk to the users of the campus. So, the repair and restoration work was of utmost importance," a senior CU official said.

To begin with, the repairing of the wall outside the main academic building is being undertaken along with repair or replacement of the doors and windows, which have also suffered damages. The repair of the toilets will also be taken up soon.

"The retrofitting work of the interior of the building will be taken up in due course. The ground floor auditorium that has suffered damage will also be given a major facelift and all state-of-the art facilities, including that of video conferencing, will be made available," a senior official of PWD department said. The PWD has set a target of 1 year for completing the work.

"We have started the work amid COVID-19 restrictions as we intended to waste no time. Presently, the campus is closed for students and so the work can be carried out smoothly without any sort of disturbance,"CU Vice-Chancellor, Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee, said.

The foundation stone for the University College of Science was laid down in 1914 with the princely gifts of Taraknath Palit and Rashbehari Ghosh. The land and the premises for Ballygunge Science College had been gifted by Sir Taraknath Palit. In 1946, the Indian Jute Mills Association decided to establish the Institute of Jute Technology within the orbit of Calcutta University. The land for the institution at 35, Ballygunge Circular Road was purchased from the Trustees of Sir Taraknath Palit Trust during the Vice-Chancellorship of Professor Pramathanath Banerjee. The old building was demolished and newly-built complex of Ballygunge Science College was opened for use in 1964.

Ballygunge Science College houses the departments of agriculture, anthropology, biochemistry, microbiology, botany, geography, genetics, statistics, zoology, neuroscience, marine science, biotechnology, and most notably geology, among others. It also houses SN Pradhan Centre For Neurosciences and the Institute of Agricultural Science.

The PWD has marvelously restored the College Street campus of CU, which was a major challenge considering the campus dating back to January 1857. The restoration began in 2017 and was completed by July 2020.

While PWD did the structural renovations, renowned artist and Chairman of the West Bengal Heritage Commission, Subhaprasanna, was roped in to restore rare artworks, lying abandoned, and the elegant, old-world charm of the halls and corridors.

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