The decision came at the regular cabinet meeting held at Bangladesh Secretariat yesterday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
After the cabinet meeting education minister Nurul Islam Nahid made an urgent press conference and said: “The cabinet has decided to build a new campus at Keraniganj. It's very good news and we are so happy that students will get all of the facilities at a single campus.”
Earlier the minister had said that only the boys dorms would be built in Keraniganj and land acquisition had been completed in this regard.
Nurul Islam Nahid also told the reporters although the new campus will be build at keraniganj, however all of the existing infrastructure would be under the university authority.
“The university has authority has already procured 25-bigha of land for a hall with the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Now the government will buy more land to build a new campus including will all the facilities of a public university,” he added.
Students have been demanding the announcement of specific locations of the new dorms and to transfer the old Central Jail plot to the university for building them since August 1.
The old site of the Dhaka Central Jail in the capital’s Bakshibazar will be allocated for previously decided museum, park, shopping mall and conference centre, not for anything else, according to the decision made at the cabinet meeting yesterday.
A cabinet committee meeting has finalised the decision yesterday afternoon, a cabinet member said asking not to be named.
He said: “The old jail is a heritage place. Bangabandhu was once confined in this jail and the four national leaders were killed here. So the place is a part of our history. To conserve the memory, there will be a museum on the site along with a conference centre, shopping mall and a park. The land will be used for nothing else.”
During the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the education minister what measures he had taken about the ongoing demand for dormitories by Jagannath University students.
Nurul Islam Nahid told the PM that a boys’ dormitory will be built on the 25-bigha university land in Keraniganj and a girls’ dormitory close to the old-Dhaka campus. Presently, a 20-storey administrative building is under construction on the campus.
A slightly irked premier then asked the education minister to keep all the dormitories, administrative buildings and other accommodations on an undivided piece of land, as one public university should have. She told the minister to make a elaborate plan in this regard.
The prime minister also inquired if there was more land to purchase so that all the new buildings could be built in Keraniganj. She asked the education minister to work on that.
Nurul Islam Nahid said: “After getting the direction of Prime Minister, we have already talked to the people concerned who have confirmed that there is available land beside the 25-bigha land for a new campus.”
He also said: “The process of land acquisition for the new campus will be started soon as possible.”