National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Panchkula, finally saw the light of the day as union minister of textiles, Smriti Irani, laid its foundation stone on Thursday.
It was former union minister and ex- Ambala MP Kumari Selja, who brought the project to Panchkula in 2011, but it remained mired in the tussle between her and the then Haryana chief miniater (CM) Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
A number of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders who were present during the inauguration, took credit for the institute and took jibes at the rift between Selja and Hooda that had stalled the project for years, on Thursday.
Selja had to write an angry letter to Hooda in 2013, following which a site was allocated for NIFT in Sector 23.
But when BJP came to power in 2014, the project got expedited and from 2017-18 the classes will also be started. The NIFT building will take around two years to complete.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said, “It is right that many projects of the last government (Hooda-led Congress government) couldn’t start due to their internal tussle among other problems. NIFT was conceived in 2011, but they couldn’t start it. Similarly, the four-laning of national highway number 73 (Panchkula to Yamunanagar) too was delayed.”
Smriti Irani said, “The last government earned the sobriquet of announcements, but this government has been implementing them.”
Education minister Ram Bilas Sharma said, “Earlier, Selja-Hooda tussle used to get published in Panchkula... She (Selja) drowned in Ghaggar. Now, we have our government at state and centre, whatever we start, it concludes.”
Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta said that Panchkula used to get step-brotherly treatment during the Hooda rule.”
Ambala MP Ratan Lal Kataria said that he would like to tell both Selja and Hooda that an international-level institute has now come up in Panchkula.
SITE IS NEAR DUMPING GROUND
The only sore point about the site of NIFT is that it is adjoining a dumping ground. Even on Thursday, during the foundation stone laying ceremony, foul smell was coming from the dump yard.
A case is pending at the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for shifting of this dumping ground as the local residents have been complaining of foul smell and pollution.
‘20% SEATS FOR HARYANA CANDIDATES’
Six regular degree courses will be offered at NIFT here, which will be the institute’s 17th campus across the nation. This ₹100-crore project will come up on a 10-acre land, where 20 % seats will be reserved for Haryana residents.
The courses will include four-year bachelor of design with major in fashion design or textile design, four-year bachelor of fashion technology with major in apparel production, two-year master of fashion technology, two-year master of design, two-year master of fashion management and certificate programme of one year and six months as a part of the continuing education programme. The annual intake in the proposed courses will be of 230 students.
The Haryana Police Housing Corporation will be constructing the building. The state government will give ₹100 crore for the development of the buildings, infrastructure, hostel staff residences, furniture, IT hardware, software and vehicles. These funds will be provided in a phased manner.