ISM registrar Colonel MK Singh in Dhanbad on Wednesday. (Gautam Dey)
An administrative prod for Indian School of Mines (ISM) to follow bureaucratic procedures before it can acquire land for expansion plans has irked the Dhanbad cradle, whose authorities are hoping to convince the deputy commissioner to simplify the process.
Dhanbad land acquisition officer U.K. Pathak served a notice on Monday to ISM asking it to withdraw money already allotted to it and then submit a demand draft of Rs 18 crore for obtaining six acres in Dhaiyya, 800 metres from its campus.
ISM is eager to acquire at least 25 acres with the help of the administration to expand its campus, further strengthen its departments and faculties for greater research, increase the intake of students and open new departments in mines and other sciences.
After getting the notice, ISM registrar colonel M.K. Singh on Tuesday wrote to Dhanbad deputy commissioner (DC) Prashant Kumar.
He asked the DC to explain to the administration that as Rs 20 crore was lying with the state’s fund, it would be wiser to withdraw the money itself and expedite land acquisition.
“I have personally asked the DC’s office to arrange a meeting so that we can explain our position without any delay,” colonel Singh told The Telegraph on Wednesday, adding that acquisition of land had been delayed way too much.
The premier institute has been pressing the state administration for acquisition of land to support its expansion plans. In view of the difficulty in identifying a single, sizeable plot near the ISM campus and the scarcity of land in Dhanbad, the administration has selected two spots, one in Dhaiyya and the other in Bhelatand for the purpose.
The administration has already allotted Rs 20 crore to ISM for use in the first phase of the plan. The money, earmarked for the mining institute, has been lying idle with the district education department.
Pathak argued that the administration was earnest in expediting the expansion plans of the institute, while defending the process that requires ISM to withdraw money allotted to it.
He explained that ISM has to issue a demand draft or account payee cheque to the administration so that land could be allotted quickly.
“I know that ISM already has Rs 20 crore that was granted to it by the state government. Its only job is to withdraw the money to its account and then transfer it to us for acquisition of land in accordance with government guidelines,” said Pathak, adding the notice had been sent to ISM only to speed up land acquisition.
The ISM registrar argued as the funds were lying with the district officials, they should utilise the sum.
“If we have to withdraw the money, it will simply delay the entire process. In case of any urgency, the district officials could have contacted us earlier and kept things simpler,” he added.