Process of shifting British built Malda correctional home begins

Heritage lovers demand converting old building to museum
Report by: 
EOI CORRESPONDENT
MALDA
10 Jul 2017

Administrative preparations are underway to shift the district correctional home from its present location to Narayanpur in Old Malda considering the increasing crime rate and other civic issues. An official inspection of the alternate land by the IG (correctional home) has been complete. Meanwhile, the heritage activists of the district have raised the demand of converting the existing correctional home into a museum considering its historical importance.
It has been learnt from district administrative sources that the matter of transferring Malda correctional home to an alternate spot with a much larger area was under prolonged contemplation. After the matter was pursued by the district administration and English Bazaar municipality (EBM), the state government sped up the process.
Dulal Sarkar, vice chairman of EBM, who is liaising the matter on behalf of the local civic body said, “The IG (correctional home) has already inspected the 30 acre land at Narayanpur area in Old Malda primarily chosen for setting up alternate correctional home. The design and map of land and locality are almost finalized from our end. We believe that the preparations of shifting correctional home would begin soon.”
Explaining as to why the state government has been strongly in favour of shifting Malda correctional home Sarkar said, “There is no denying that crimes have been increasing. About 600 to 700 inmates can be accommodated here. Larger number of under trials cannot be accommodated in present correctional home built during the British rule on only six acres of land. So, the state government has chosen an alternate land five times larger than area of existing correctional home at ward no. 2 of EBM.”
“Additionally, plying of vehicles of correctional home department along the overcrowded road a number of times everyday has compounded the problem further. So, it is decided to move present correctional home,” the EBM deputy chief said.
However, he could not ascertain the fate of land and building of existing correctional home. “The state government would definitely take a suitable decision in this regard,” Sarkar said.
Meanwhile, heritage activists have strongly advocated converting existing correctional home into a museum maintaining its structure. “Many freedom-fighters spent their days in Malda correctional home. Krishna Jiban Sanyal, Shanti Sen, Bimal Das, KG Lahiri and many others were confined here by the British government. It is rich in history. The state government should consider its significance in history and preserve it as a museum,” said Prof Pradyot Ghosh, a scholar and researcher on history of Malda.