DHARWAD: The District Administration has a mammoth task ahead to ensure that a makeshift campus is ready for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Dharwad in the next five months.
In the next two days, an engineering team from IIT-Bombay will visit the campus of Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI) after which the District Administration is expected to begin the restoration work. Located in a large campus of 125 acres, WALMI is about 7 km away from Dharwad city.
The IIT-Bombay Committee members who visited Dharwad last week had announced that the first batch of IIT-D will begin in July and the facilities to house 120 students, faculty and staff should be ready by May end.
But the buildings and residential quarters which are now earmarked for the IIT’s first batch are in a poor shape and need a major restoration.
Most of these structures were built during 1980s and have remained empty for years. Several rows of houses stand amid vegetation that have grown upto the first floors of the residential quarters. The doors and windows of many quarters need to be replaced along with other works such as electricity and water connection.
On the contrary, the administrative block and other buildings where the regular classes will be conducted for the IIT-D first batch are in better condition than the residential quarters.
However, they too need a renovation once the engineering team finishes its visit.
“The District Administration is prepared to meet the deadline to set up IIT in Dharwad. The government has agreed to sanction `2,000 crore to ensure all the facilities that are listed out by the IIT Committee are met before May. We are awaiting the visit of the engineering team after which the restoration of buildings will begin. The residential structures need an overhaul approach as they have been locked and unused for many years,” said a senior official from the Public Works Department, which will carry out the restoration work at WALMI.
For the next three years, the IIT will run on WALMI campus after which a new facility will be created at Mammigatti area, located near the present campus.
The new area is spread over 500 acres and soon a master plan for a permanent IIT structure will be drawn up by the engineering team along with the PWD team of Karnataka.
Two major insitutions in Dharwad - Karnatak University and the University of Agricultural Sciences - have announced that they would extend any type of help required for the new IIT in Dharwad.
IIT-Dharwad’s Long Journey
With the Ministry of Human Resource Development giving its green signal for setting up of an IIT in Dharwad, the 17-year long wait for the same ended
It was the late Union Human Resources Development Minister S R Bommai, who had moved the proposal to the Centre seeking an IIT in Dharwad in the 1990s
In 1998, a committee headed by former ISRO chairman and space scientist U R Rao submitted its report recommending an IIT in Hubballi-Dharwad
The first batch of IIT-Dharwad will start on WALMI campus located on the outskirts of Dharwad city
The district administration has identified 500 acres near Mummigatti on the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway off Dharwad for a permanent IIT campus