‘Overcrowded’ will likely be an understatement for the district jail which is currently housing inmates six times higher than its capacity.
As many as 1,800 inmates are currently kept in the jail, which has a capacity to house only 300 prisoners. This huge number of inmates and lack of adequate facilities mean that those kept here are facing various problems.
Although the authorities concerned assigned a private firm for constructing two six-storied building but they are yet to begin the work.
According to the jail sources, the district jail which has five two-storied building, a juvenile and 15 condemn cells, was established on 12 acres of land in 1998. It had a capacity of housing 200 inmates.
Recently, a tin-roofed building has been constructed with the capacity of housing 100 more inmates.
But the jail is currently housing 1,800 inmates – 1,742 males and 58 females.
“There’s no problem here although we’re accommodating more inmates than the capacity,” said Suvash Kumar Ghosh, the superintendent of the jail.
He said the tender process for constructing two more buildings has been completed. “Facilities for the inmates would have been enhanced if the buildings had been constructed in time,” he said, adding they are working on the requisition of one more acre of land for expanding the jail.
Apart from these, two more acres of land were proposed for requisition.
According to international law, there should be a staff for three inmates while the domestic law suggests a staff for each eight inmates. But the huge number of inmates at the Narayanganj jail means that the standard is not maintained here.
Going by the international standard, the jail would need a 600-strong staff. But if jail were to follow the local law thoroughly, then it would need 225 staff.
Currently, 133 staff, including the high-ups, are employed at the jail. And even they are not getting adequate residential facilities.
Md Jashim Uddin, the deputy commissioner, said the issues will be fixed once the proposed requisition is completed.
“We’ll take measures to complete the construction work of the two proposed buildings,” he said without giving any time frame.