Maritime university remains a pipe dream for Kerala
By Babu K Peter | ENS | Published: 14th December 2012 09:04 AM |
Kerala government’s wish to start a maritime university in the state is likely to remain a pipe dream, with the Indian Maritime University (IMU), Chennai, which proposed the formation of a central university here, backing out of the project.
“A maritime university in the state was proposed by the former IMU Vice-Chancellor K Vijayan. But currently, the authorities are uninterested in the project and have instead proposed the setting up of a maritime study centre here,” said Fisheries and Ports Minister K Babu, who initiated steps to acquire land at Panangad for the proposed university.
The university, with an estimated cost of around `100 crore, was proposed to be set up on a 60-acre land at Panangad, close to the College of Fisheries. The Union Shipping Ministry had given the green signal for the project in September, 2011. The Indian Maritime University already has a campus on the 10-acre land provided by the Cochin Port Trust at Willingdon Island.
The plan was to expand the existing campus to Panangad and later club the campuses to form an independent university.
With the local people launching agitations against land acquisition, the district administration considered Kumbalam and Puthuvypeen as potential sites as well.
Interestingly, the state government completed the procedures required for land acquisition at Panangad swiftly.
“The collective will of the authorities and the concerened governments, would make the project a reality. A Central university will change the dimension of maritime research in Kerala. Keralites constitute 60-70 per cent of the student strength at the IMU, Chennai,” reminded Jose Paul, former IMU executive council member and former chairman of the Mormugao Port Trust.