THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram, which has been primarily functioning from the computer science building of College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET) will partially shift to its Vithura campus by October. IISER-T’Puram technically came into being in August 2008. Though 240 acres of land were allocated to it in Vithura,the construction of buildings had hit various roadblocks.
IISER-Thiruvananthapuram Director V Ramakrishnan says, ‘’We plan to shift part of the Chemical Science department tothe new campus by October. CPWD, which is taking care of the second phase of the construction, reckons that it willtake about one-and-a-half years to complete the project.’’ The Chemical Science building, hostel facility for 100 students, basic infrastructure like roads, sewage treatment plant and common instrumentation facility are expected to be ready by October.
Final-year Integrated MS programme students will be the first to shift to the new campus. Originally, the Rs 900-crore project for constructing the IISER facilities was divided into two phases. Though phase I was awarded to a contractor, work proceeded at a slow pace, and came to a complete standstill when the contractor decided to terminate the project in February 2014. According to the institute’s administration, after the termination, priority works were identified, so that at least part of the campus could go live at the earliest. During this time, the extent of work done by the first contractor was jointly measured by the contractor and the institute. It is estimated that the contractor will be given close to Rs 100 crore.
Balance work in phase-I as well as phase-II work will be supervised by the Central Public Works Department. As per an estimate submitted by the CPWD on December 2014, preliminary estimate for remaining work in academic, residential and hostel areas amounts to Rs 289.94 crore. Phase-II includes a Rs 120-crore hostel project for which contract has been awarded. A guest house and shopping centre will also be built as part of phase-II. Currently, the institute has buildings taken on rent near the CET campus, apart from the Computer Science building. High-end labs needed for advanced research, which require vibration-free clean environment, had to be set up in the rented buildings. Accommodation for the students has been arranged at hostels nearby.
The new campus in Vithura will be built to accommodate 1200 students. Though the current strength of the institute is a little over 550, every year it has been witnessing an increase in its seats.