IIEST seeks ‘generous funding’
The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) has sought “generous funding” from the Centre for the renovation of many of the buildings on the 160-year-old campus.
IIEST director Parthasarathi Chakrabarti, during his presentation in front of President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday, talked about the need to renovate buildings on the campus and sought funds for that.
“During the 10-minute presentation, I raised the issue of insufficient infrastructure of the 160-year-old institute and sought generous funding from the Centre. We need funds for the renovation of many of the buildings, including hostels whose roofs are leaking. Some of the buildings in need of urgent repairs are heritage structures,” Chakrabarti told Metro.
The heads of several other tech schools, including IITs, attended the Rashtrapati Bhavan meeting, which discussed a range of issues, including challenges facing the National Institutional Ranking Framework and alumni’s role in strengthening respective institutes.
Asked whether IIEST has specified how much it needs for the renovation, director Chakrabarti said: “We have not yet specified any amount. Once the detailed project reports are drawn up in consultation with architects, we will be in a position to give an estimate.”
Established in 1856 as Calcutta Civil Engineering College, the Shibpur institute is the fourth oldest engineering institute of the country — after the College of Engineering, Guindy (Tamil Nadu), IIT Roorkee and the College of Engineering, Pune.
Before becoming IIEST in 2014, the institute was known as the Bengal Engineering and Science University.
An official in the engineering section of the institute said there were at least 10 buildings on the campus, all constructed during the Raj, that need renovation.
Of the 17 hostels on the campus, at least 15 are crying out for an overhaul. Many of the hostels were built before Independence.
The human resource development ministry had last month granted IIEST Rs 260 crore for building a hostel and an academic complex.
The director said they wanted to strengthen academic buildings and add an extra floor to each to make room for the growing number of students. The student count on the campus has gone up following the introduction of a quota for financially weak candidates in the general category.
“We can accommodate these students by adding a floor (to academic buildings). But before that we need to renovate the buildings and strengthen them so that they can bear the additional load,” Chakrabarti said.
An IIEST official said they were more concerned about the state of the hostels. “Metal rods are jutting out of the ceiling of many of the hostels. Concrete chunks are peeling off and water leaks through roofs,” the official said.
At last year’s convocation, held on December 23, Chakrabarti had stressed the need for better infrastructure to draw bright students, while admitting that poor hostel facilities were driving them away.
“Students take admission, but many of them leave after seeing the condition of the hostels,” he had said.