CUTTACK: The fate of Ravenshaw University’s second campus hangs in balance due to lack funds and delay in land acquisition.
The second campus, christened as ‘Mahanadi Campus’, was proposed in 2008 as expansion of Ravenshaw University became a necessity with rising number of students and courses.
As per the plan, Mahanadi Campus will be developed as an advance Centre of Excellence focusing on research and innovation. It will be a self-sustaining campus with state-of-the-art academic facilities, hostels, quarters, auditorium, research laboratories, sports complexes, swimming pool and a guest house. It was decided to run all professional and applied courses from the second campus while the main campus was to take care of all courses in traditional subjects.
Accordingly, the Government had earmarked 141 acre of land at Brajabiharipur near Naraj under Athagarh tehsil for establishment of Mahanadi Campus.
Of the total 141 acre, only 126.40 acre has been transferred in the name of Ravenshaw University. Transfer of the rest land has been delayed due to local opposition and litigation over ownership issue.
“We are not able to transfer the rest 14.60 acre of land as the matter is sub judice in court. The rest land will be transferred after the case is finalised,’’ said Athagarh Tehsildar Umakant Raj.
While the project cost for establishment of the second campus, which is to be a replica of the heritage building of Ravenshaw University, is estimated to be more than Rs 500 crore, the varsity authorities had placed an initial demand of Rs 100 crore to start the project work. However, the Government has released only Rs 10 crore of the Rs 30 crore announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who laid the foundation for Mahanadi Campus on June 10, 2015. The CM had announced that the campus would come into existence in two years and academic activities will commence within next five years.
‘’Of Rs 10 crore, Rs 8 crore is now being spent towards construction of boundary wall of the campus. Lack of fund is a major constraint for establishment of Mahanadi Campus,’’ Vice-Chancellor of Ravenshaw University Prof Prakash Chandra Sarangi said and added, ‘’We have requested the Government to release more funds to carry out further construction work.’’
The present campus of Ravenshaw University, which was set up in 1868 on 87 acre of land for 500 students, is facing acute shortage of classrooms and allied academic facilities for about 7,000 students.