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Newly constructed auditorium gutted at university

india Updated: Apr 24, 2007 01:29 IST

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Days before it was to be formerly inaugurated by chief minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, a spectacular auditorium built at an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore, at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada university campus was completely reduced to ashes, in a mysterious fire that broke out on Sunday evening.

But even before the fire had subsided, vice Chancellor, Dr Nagnath Kothapalley, on Monday ruled out any possibility of sabotage by contractors. "I don't see any reason why anybody would want to destroy such a beautiful structure," he said talking to

Hindustan Times


In similar quick reaction, the management committee, the apex body of the varsity, after a marathon meeting on Monday decided to re-build the auditorium with six months, in time for the golden jubilee celebration of the varsity beginning August 2007.

The 950 seat auditorium, designed as a Buddhist stupa, stood out as one of the most striking architectural edifice in the entire university, so much so that its picture was picked up to be put on the university dairy this year.

The construction of the auditorium though had always been a controversial one, with scores of probe committees set up throughout the 10 years of its work, as complaints of sub standard material being used surfaced from time to time.

The eye catching exterior of the auditorium, however, was in sharp contrast to the shabby interior that lay bare when it hosted a youth festival in December last year. It was only then that the university officials realised that the auditorium neither had a comfortable seating arrangement nor was the stage elevated to a suitable viewing angle.

While the university did get the auditorium insured officials are still not clear whether they could claim any insurance with many formalities of documentation, like a NOC from the fire department, still not in place.