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President visit to open Ghani institute

Malda, July 9: President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate an under-construction building on the Ghani Khan Choudhury Institute of Engineering and Technology campus at Narayanpur in Old Malda on August 1.

Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani, Bengal governor, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and state education minister Partha Chatterjee are also expected to attend the inauguration. Their visit has not been confirmed yet.

A confirmation from the Rashtrapati Bhavan about President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit has been sent to the Malda district magistrate through Nabanna.

District magistrate Sharad Dwivedi said the President would fly to Malda from Purnea in Bihar.

“The President will inaugurate the building of the central institute on August 1. He will fly in here from Purnea in an Indian Air Force helicopter around 12 noon that day. We have sent the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s conformation to the officials of the institute. We would make all necessary arrangements for the visit. The details of the programme would be finalised by the institute,” Dwivedi said.

The new building is one is of the many that would come up on the Narayanpur campus and it would be part of the institute’s academic block.

Abu Naser Khan Choudhury, the Congress MLA from Sujapur, who is the chairman of the institute, said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone of the institute on March 16, 2013. He was accompanied by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The institute is located on a 100-acre plot in Narayanpur, 15km from here.

Abu Naser said constructions would cover 40,000 square metre of the entire plot.

“In 2013, (when UPA was in power) the Union human resource ministry had sanctioned Rs 110 crore for the campus,” he said. The total cost of the project is Rs 500 crore.

The institute started in 2010 and since then, classes are being held in an old building of the power grid corporation in Malda town. Once the full campus is made, the institute will shift to Narayanpur.

The institute offers two-year diploma courses in mechanical and electrical engineering and food processing.

“We are going to start degree courses in mechanical and electrical engineering and food processing soon. We are grateful to chief minister Mamata Banerjee for granting us permission to acquire the land (from local people). I have contacted the chief minister and she would be present at the inaugural programme along with Partha Chatterjee and Smriti Irani. Other Union and state ministers are also being invited to the event,” Abu Naser said.

Malda’s only other engineering institute is IMPS Institute of Engineering and Technology, a private institution.

Abu Naser said all guests would be invited to the Ghani Khan residence at Kotwali. “I will definitely invite the President and the others to Kotwali. But whether their Kotwali visit would be included in the official itinerary is to be seen,” he said.

In March 2013, when Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi had visited Malda for laying the foundation stone of the Ghani Khan Choudhury Institute of Engineering and Technology, they had gone to Kotwali for tea and snacks.

They had also paid floral tribute at the tomb of A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury.