K M Dayashankar
KARIMNAGAR: The prestigious Sri Raja Rajeshwara (SRR) government degree and PG college in the heart of Karimnagar town is on the verge of shrunk with the encroachment by various departments such as electricity, municipality, social welfare and freshly by the authorities for the construction of Kala Bharathi auditorium.
The SRR college as is popularly called is the oldest higher education institution in north Telangana established in the year 1956. When the higher education facilities were non-existent, the then Chief Minister of Hyderabad state Burgula Ramakrishna Rao and higher education Minister Justice Gopal Rao Ekbote’s foresight led to it getting materialised.
The college started with the contributions made by the philanthropists in a sprawling 26-acre land. Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy devasthanam had made a major contribution of Rs 50,000 and the college was named after the presiding deity of the Vemulawada temple. Eminent academicians such as Vishwanatha Satyanarayana, I.V. Chalapathi Rao, B Madhava Reddy, V Kondal Rao, K.Y.L Narasimha Rao and others worked as its principals and produced several luminaries in various fields.
The college, along with academic activities, played a crucial role in the transformation of the student community on all fronts with NCC and NSS units since the inception of the college and several NCC cadets had joined the armed forces and serving the country. In the year 2017, the college secured NAAC ‘A’ grade and was planning for autonomous status as it fulfils all parameters.
However, the encroachments of the lands on the pretext of constructing water tank, municipal commissioner’s camp office, indoor stadium, vermin compost pits shed, hostel building, electricity sub-station etc had become a cause of concern with the shrinking ground for the sports activities. A few years ago, the local residents had encroached around two acres of land for creating a spacious road to the adjacent colony.
The college authorities said that the SRR was the prestigious college in the north Telangana region offering more than 20 undergraduate courses and about 10 PG courses and several certificate courses and very soon it would get autonomous status. “We request the authorities concerned to reallocate the land provided to the District Sports authority (DSA) to the college as the government had constructed Ambedkar stadium especially for sports promotion in the town”, they stated.
An alumnus and former faculty member said that the SRR college is one of the icons of the Karimnagar district and it should be protected for the promotion of higher education. If the authorities are so much concerned about higher education, they should take up repairs of the ancient college building, which is in a dilapidated condition, instead of constructing a cultural centre, which would be a disturbance to the academic activities, he stated.
Mayor Y Sunil Rao said that they had not encroached the college grounds and they were reconstructing Kala bharathi, a cultural centre, which was taken up in the two acres of DSA land allocated for the mini-Kala Bharathi way back in the year 2007. The Kala Bharathi was being constructed at a cost of Rs 8 crore with all amenities for the benefit of people and promotion of cultural and literary activities, he stated.