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Target 2013 for research institute
- Niser campus to be ready on time despite running late, hope authorities

Bhubaneswar, June 23: The authorities of the National Institute of Science Education and Research (Niser) are hopeful of getting their permanent campus ready by the end of 2013 notwithstanding slight delay in the work schedule.

“The master plan is ready and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has selected Larsen and Toubro (L&T) to execute the job. They are expected to start the work next month. The project has to be completed within 36 months and we are of meeting the deadline. We hope that the Phase-I work comprising four major schools and the administrative block will be over by the end of 2013,’’ said the institute’s registrar, AK Naik.

The campus is coming up on 298 acres near Jatni.

While the forest department has already marked 285 trees for felling top facilitate work, steps to ensure enough greenery are being taken by planting 2,500 saplings along its fenced boundary. “We are planning more afforestation programmes in future,” added Naik.

The project envisages an expenditure of Rs 457 crore in the first phase including Rs 160 core on residential township and Rs 130 crore on academic buildings and a sports complex. The Centre has sanctioned Rs 823.19 core for the entire campus project in Bhubaneswar.

The work, which was supposed to start on June 20, is yet to take off. “We have heard that there will be selective cutting of trees,” said the security officials present at the site, a vast area near the Jatni-Khurda Road which earlier used to serve as a shooting range for the police and pare-military forces.

After fencing the authorities have deployed a 25-member security team with a supervising officer to keep watch. However, unlike the IIT Bhubaneswar campus where illegal laterite mining had been reported recently the NISER campus site is safe. A transformer has been installed at the site to ensure uninterrupted power supply. Two corrugated tin sheds have also been put up at the site for the engineers to work out of.

The Registrar added that the construction work was getting delayed as the approval of the one of a senior officials of the Ministry of Finance was still awaited. Once it was available the executing agency would go ahead with the work. Earlier there was some delay on account of the time taken by the department of atomic energy (DAE) to grant certain approvals.

“The DAE technical panel inspected, checked and approved each and every aspect of the engineering drawing which took one year,” said a senior professor, who is an advisor and member on the NISER Board.

Currently operating from a transit campus of 5,000 square metres within the Institute of Physics (IoP), Bhubaneswar premises, NISER has lab, teaching and research facilities. While Rs 12.5 crore has been spent on these facilities for the school of chemistry Rs 13.5 crore for the school of physics, Rs 25 crore for the school of biology and Rs 5 crore for the school of mathematics.

The institute, which came into existence in July 2007, has started Ph.D programmes from this year. “We have been promised a three-acre plot by the state government for setting up a city campus in future. This will include a 1,500 seated conference hall,” said the registrar.

Sources said that the Centre had a special interest in the project as it would be one of the top ranking academic and research institutes of its kind in the country. The aim is to shape future scientists with the focus on pure sciences such as physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology. “The student coming out of Plus Two stream would be raw material for us. They would go out of the institute ready to contribute to the world of science with the integrated MSc degree,” said an official hoping for the best.

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