The cost of building eight new Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) will be much higher than the government anticipated, with the work for developing permanent campuses not taking off.
The HRD ministry has decided to prepare new detailed project reports of each of the eight IITs after finding that it will not be possible to build the premier technology institutes at the cost approved by the Union cabinet.
The government had estimated that the new campus of each IIT will cost R800 crore in 2008, when the cabinet approved the project. It was also estimated that most of the campuses will be build by 2012.
A HRD ministry review shows that the work on building the new campuses has not started because of delay in acquisition of land and awarding of work by individual IITs. Even the boundary walls for new IITs in Rajasthan and Himachal have not been built and only preliminary work has started on some others such as the IIT in Hyderabad.
The new IITs are running from temporary campuses allocated by the state governments.
“The IITs had been extremely slow in starting the work and meeting the 2012 deadline was impossible," a senior government official said. India's economy rival China between 2008 and 2011 had built at least 10 technology institutes in the last few years to produce high quality manpower.
Despite a policy push by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008 the slow pace of work has hampered construction of the new campuses.
The new institutes at the recent IIT council meeting pointed out that building the new campuses at the envisaged cost of R800 would not possible because the cost of raw material has increased by 30 to 50%.