LUCKNOW: The Ghaziabad district administration dropped the proposal to convert a hostel earmarked for students belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) into Uttar Pradesh’s first detention centre for illegal foreigners. It now is looking for a new place to bring the proposed facility.
The district administration announced the decision to scrap the proposal on late Thursday night. Ghaziabad DM Ajay Shankar Pandey announced that the building will continue to be used as a hostel. “We will find a new suitable place for the proposed centre,” he said.
The hostel in Nandgram was proposed to be converted into an open jail for those found violating visa norms by government authorities. The hostel, named after Dr BR Ambedkar and meant for the SC/ST students, was constructed by the Mayawati-led BSP government in 2010-11. The former CM had tweeted against the proposal on Thursday. Condemning the state government’s move, she had described the decision as painful.
The hostel, situated close to the Delhi-Meerut Highway, used to host students from Western UP and adjoining areas. However, demand for the hostel declined in recent years and the property had been lying vacant for the past five years.
As per the sources, the decision to convert the facility into a detention centre was taken by the district authorities in 2017. Subsequently, the social welfare department had issued a notification after which the police’s housing development unit started the preparations to turn it into a detention centre. The construction was almost complete and amenities were in place, sources said. The hostel has 250 beds for SC/ST students pursuing a college education in the district.