Seven years on, NIT yet to get over teething troubles

[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
YUPIA, Apr 18: Even after nearly seven years of its establishment in the state, the National Institute of Technology (NIT) is yet to shift to its permanent site in Jote.
Much ruckus was created when over 600 students were shifted to the permanent site in Jote in October last year, with students protesting against the lack of basic facilities and having to reside in academic blocks instead of hostels.
The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) had taken notice and deputed an under-secretary to visit Itanagar and sort out the issue. The MHRD official reportedly expressed unhappiness with the condition of the Itanagar-Jote road and warned that unless the stretch of road was repaired, the institute would not be shifted to the permanent campus.
While the road is now on the verge of completion, several vital buildings of the institute are not yet ready to be handed over officially to the NIT.

Under construction permanent NIT campus, Jote

Speaking to The Arunachal Times, NIT PRO and Assistant Professor Rajen Pudur informed that the institute would be shifted to its permanent site as soon as the construction work is complete.
“It is necessary for important buildings, such as the academic blocks and hostels, to be completed before we shift the students to Jote. We will shift as soon as the departments and agencies engaged in the construction work hand over the institute to us,” he said.
Meanwhile, however, funds for the construction have stopped coming from the MHRD since 2015 for reasons not known even to the NIT officials here.
The MHRD had earlier released Rs 260 crore for construction of the institute at Jote, and the NIT had shelled out Rs 8 crore, so that construction would not come to a halt.
Even with the fund constraints, construction agencies and departments, such as the HPL and the PWD, are continuing with their allotted work.
But, reportedly, the construction plan is also creating a hindrance in its completion. The construction is underway in a manner where all the buildings are being erected at one go instead of completing the important blocks and buildings first.
At present, the Jote campus has two academic blocks (mechanical and biotechnology) and one faculty quarters unit (with seven quarters) which have been completed.
The girls’ hostel is in its finishing stage, as are the electrical and civil academic blocks.
Asst Prof Pudur says that the faculty members are also eager to shift to the permanent site.
“Almost all the faculty members are living in rented accommodations in Naharlagun, and the house rent allowance being provided to them does not make up for the actual cost of rent. There are also travel expenses, and the faculty and staff are incurring unnecessary expenditure,” said APRO Nabam Talar.
Meanwhile, over 600 students of the institute are currently residing at nine private hostels, with wardens deputed from the institute itself.
While the officials say that each hostel has been provided with basic facilities and gym equipment, the students claim that there is lack of proper space for sports activities.
There are also issues of clean and regular water supply in the hostels, especially during monsoon.
Established on 18 August, 2010, the NIT here is not the only such institute facing such difficulties. Reportedly, several other NITs across the country, especially in the Northeast, are facing difficulties due to lack of funds from the MHRD.
The ministry is yet to communicate the reasons for putting a hold on the funds.
This daily could not get a response from Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on behalf of the Government of India regarding the issue.