Areas around long abandoned sub jails in Birganj and Birampur upazilas under the district have become safe haven for drug addicts and anti-social elements.
Constructed in 1980, the sub jails at Purba Jagannathpur village under Birampur municipality and Hathatpara under Birganj municipality comprise office buildings, residential quarters of sub-jailers and separate wards for male and female inmates with power and water supply.
In 1990, the then government abolished the sub-jail system and since then, these two sub jails, each covering 7.5 acres of land, remained abandoned.
"It is strange that the authorities hardly took any initiative for maintenance and proper utilisation of the abandoned sub-jail in last 24 years. Many incidents of robbery occurred in surrounding areas as criminals found it a safe refuge to do anti-social activities," said Abdullahel Kafi, a resident of Birganj town.
Drug addicts and suspected people often roam around the abandoned premises, locals said, adding that the situation turns worse after evening.
During a recent visit to Birganj sub-jail, this correspondent found the infrastructure in a shabby condition while Md Abdur Rahman, caretaker of the abandoned sub jail, finds his work too tough in absence of required manpower.
"This area has become a safe place for drug addicts and anti-social elements. Mosquitoes also breeding at places, posing health hazard to the residents and shopkeepers of nearby areas. Heaps of garbage is seen in the area," said Julfikar Ali, a local.
Birganj and Birampur upazila social welfare offices are authorised for supervision of the two sub jails.
The officials concerned said they cannot take care of these structures properly due to fund shortage.
Proposals are pending with the Ministry of Social Welfare to use the sub jails as training centre for youths, juvenile correction and rehabilitation centre, and child rehabilitation centre, said Md Motiar Rahman, an officer of Birganj upazila social welfare department.