Protests spike biotech park

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By MITA MUKHERJEE
  • Published 2.02.07
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Protests from students, teachers and researchers have forced Calcutta University to shelve its plan to set up a biotechnology park in Baruipur, on the city’s southern fringes.

The university had signed an MoU with the California-based KPC group last August to set up the park, the initial investment for which was pegged at Rs 200 crore.

The Baruipur campus of the university, spread over 77 acres, is used by postgraduate students and scientists in the agriculture science department for research.

They fear their scope for research will be severely curtailed if the park is allowed on the campus.

The university had allotted 30 acres to the KPC for setting up the park and planned to allot another 30 acres, in phases, for expansion.

The park was to be a hub for research and development of drugs, bio-fertilisers and bio-insecticides.

“A number of people, including agricultural science experts, were not happy with the idea of letting out the Baruipur farm for setting up the biotech park. In deference to their wishes, we are looking for an alternative site,” said Dhrubojyoti Chattopadhyay, Calcutta University’s dean of science.

Students, teachers and scientists of the agricultural science department wonder how the authorities could think of carving up the campus when they are badly in need of space for research.

“Even the entire Baruipur campus is insufficient for our postgraduate courses,” pointed out Ranjit Kumar Sarkar, head of the agricultural science department.

“Instead of taking away our land, the university should allot more land to us. It’s time we went for expansion and opened more courses,” he added.