Nalanda University chancellor Vijay Bhatkar on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the construction of non-residential buildings and other allied works on the sprawling 455-acre campus at a function marked by Vedic rituals and said it would be a place to spread the message of ‘peace and love’ the world needs today.
The tender of Rs 435-crore had been awarded to M/s NCC Limited, Hyderabad to complete a major part of the phase-1 construction of what would be ‘net zero’ campus.
Next in line is the finalisation of Rs 300-crore tender for the residential buildings and hostels.
The first tender to be awarded for internal roads and water bodies went to MGCPL, Panchkula. The entire construction will be done in accordance with requirement of green building certification by GRIHA and net zero energy, water and waste management strategies.
Mecon Limited is the project manager, while Vastu Shilpa is the architect for the project. Phase one is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Speaking after the foundation laying ceremony in the traditional way, which witnessed recitation of Vedic mantras and ‘hawan’, Bhatkar said the function symbolised the ancient Indian tradition, which was still alive.
“Many traditions have disappeared in the modern age, but the Indian tradition has continued and that speaks about its strength,” he said, adding he considered himself fortunate to be appointed the chancellor of a university, which aims at resurrection of all that ancient Nalanda epitomised.
An acclaimed scientist and best known as the architect of India’s first supercomputer and the founder executive director of C-DAC, India’s national initiative in supercomputing, Bhatkar said at a time when world peace was a priority, NU would strive to give a strong message with emphasis on ‘peace and love”.
He was appreciative of the architectural design of NU developed by Vastu Shilpa, which was presented before him. “I was happy to see a true resurrection of the ancient Nalanda. It is in keeping with the Nalanda spirit,” he said, exhorting Mecon and NCC to make the work visible within a year and complete the project on time, even if it required extra effort.
“Ancient Nalanda was a hub of knowledge for the entire world and the modern one should strive to achieve that glory to be the ‘Vishwa Guru’ once again,” he said.
Bhatkar also had interactions with acting VC Pankaj Mohan, faculty members, officials and students. In the evening, he also called on chief minister Nitish Kumar at his residence in Patna.
Architect Kathapalia, who briefed Bhatkar on the master plan and its unique features, said the construction would use compressed stabilised earth blocks (CSEB) prepared on campus with the available soil.
“All kinds of tests have been carried out, viz compression test, under water erosion test and earthquake test through simulation, for construction and verification reports have been obtained from third party for construction. What is important is that the approach to construction would be holistic as per need of an integrated master plan. I feel destiny has brought all of us together here for such a unique cause,” he added.