Even as the State Government has gone all out to promote Dhamara port here, it has done little to develop the 34-year-old Crew Training Institute (CTI) at Chandbali in Bhadrak district.
The Government-run CTI under the Ministry of Commerce and Transport today stands neglected while the future of the trained crew hangs in balance as the training system in the institute has become outdated.
An instructor at the Institute on condition of anonymity said, “While immediate modernisation is the need of the hour, no initiative has been taken by the Government to upgrade infrastructure and training facilities.” Besides, the old training equipment and laboratory have been damaged and the students are facing difficulty in getting necessary training, he added. Even the walls, roof and boundary wall of the institute are in a dilapidated condition. The west side of the boundary wall has collapsed and become a safe passage for anti-social elements to come inside the premises at night.
The Port and Inland Water Transport Department is taking little interest in repair and maintenance of the infrastructure.
Established in 1979, CTI was under the control of Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department, whose responsibility was to maintain the institute besides training the candidates on sea voyages, stay in deep sea, use of solar-run apparatus, repairing motor boats and use of life saving instruments. “Practical training classes including sailing, berthing, anchoring, swimming and driving are hardly taken up for lack of equipment and boats. However, private boats are hired some times for the training,” said Surendra Puhan, a pass out student.
Swimming training is almost banned as there are wild crocodiles in river Baitarani, the only water source of the institute, he added. However, theory classes on signalling, boat building, seamanship, mathematics and science are taken regularly despite inadequate staff.
Sources said problems like inadequate staff, lack of adequate classrooms, hostel facilities, library and modernised scientific training materials have virtually jeopardised the career of the students. The students have been getting a meagre Rs 100 as stipend since 1983, they added. “Unlike other CTIs, the institute does not provide Continuing Discharge Certificate (CDC) to the trained students. This is preventing us from working in foreign ships,” alleged the students. Besides, the CTI does not have a permanent principal since 1999, they added.
The CTI-trained students can avail marine jobs. They can also be self-reliant by taking up marine fishing using motor boats and trawlers, said CTI in-charge Principal Simanchal Das.
Admitting the poor condition of the CTI, Das said IWT Department had sanctioned Rs one core for its renovation in 2008-09. One building for workshop, repairing works and kitchen room has been constructed. Steps will be taken for other development works soon, he added.