Rs 868.36 approved for NIT Jote amidst students protest

[Marli Kamki]

ITANAGAR, Jan 23: The union cabinet has approved the revised cost estimate of Rs 868.36 crore for establishment of permanent campus of the new National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Jote even as students continued to protest demanding that the temporary campus at Yupia be shifted to its permanent campus in Jote.
Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju updated on the state’s NIT share on his social media handle Thursday evening.
On Wednesday the union cabinet committee had approved Rs 4371.90 crore for the permanent campus of new NITs for the period of 2021-2022, of which the NIT Jote will receive Rs 868.36.
The announcement of the union cabinet has come as a huge relief to the embattling NIT Jote, which has been functioning from a temporary campus in Yupia since 2010. The students have been on a peaceful protest at the Pragati Boys Hostel in Nirjuli-I Village since Tuesday, demanding that the temporary campus at Yupia be shifted to its permanent campus in Jote.
Reportedly, the construction work at the permanent campus site of Jote has been put on halt ever since the funding stopped from the centre in 2016.
Earlier in the morning, NIT Yupia Director Prof Pinakeswar Mahanta reached out to the agitating students and appealed to them to end the protest. Director Mahanta managed to pacify the students by assuring them that they will be relocated to the permanent campus within 10 months, depending on the progress of the work.
“I assure you, we will shift to the permanent campus within 10 months, depending on how the infrastructure grows,” Prof Mahanta said, adding that the NIT authority first plans to use the allocated amount involving architects, in phases, to execute the remaining work.
He also claimed that “there was mismanagement of the earlier fund, which led to halt in the work at the permanent site and there were no proper detail project reports.”
The NIT director agreed that “the demand of the students was genuine” and assured that the NIT authority was in favour of the students.
Later, in the afternoon, the director gave out a written statement to the students assuring that the relocation of NIT Arunachal Pradesh is proposed to begin from December 2020 onwards after completion of basic infrastructure.
Following the written assurance from the NIT director, the agitating students have suspended their ongoing protest and asserted that they would resume their classes from Friday onwards.
“We are very satisfied with the assurance from our director and are happy that he has taken up the matter on a mission mode” said Jeremaih Lamgu, a student of the NIT. (The reporter is an intern at The Arunachal Times)