Lucknow: In what can be seen as a reflection of government apathy in Uttar Pradesh, two of its districts - Bahraich and Gonda - having a population of more than 34 lakh, have still to get a single government college.

The fact that search for the land to set up colleges in the two districts is on from past four years has added up to the irony.

There are as many as 136 colleges in Uttar Pradesh. While some of the districts in the state boast of more than two government colleges, students in Bahraich and Gonda have been deprived of their aspiration to go for higher education.

Notably, Baharaich ranks second among the districts with the lowest literacy rates in Uttar Pradesh. According the census 2011, the literacy rate in Bahraich and Gonda are 51.10 percent and 61.16 percent respectively, which is lower than the overall literacy rate in UP (69.72 percent).

Even as the department of Higher Education has written a number of times to the DMs of the concerned districts for providing one hectare land, the district officials failed to oblige. Though the Gonda DM had identified a piece of land in the district, the proposal was turned down as the location was around 40 Kms away from the district headquarter.

In the financial year 2007-08, the Department of Secondary Education (DSE) had assured the higher education department for giving land, claiming that the former had adequate land for setting up a college.

In light of the assurance by the DSE, the finance department had provided a grant of Rs 3.05 crore in 2007-08 for opening up a college, in each of the two districts. However, the secondary education department failed to provide the land, following which the finance department took back the unutilized funds.

After four years of failed efforts, the education department is now mulling over to purchase land from a government agency for establishing the college.

JPN/Bureau