National Science Day: BSIP’s new Rs100 cr leaf-structured building nears completion - Hindustan Times
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National Science Day: BSIP’s new Rs100 cr leaf-structured building nears completion

By, Lucknow
Feb 27, 2024 07:27 PM IST

Building features a large metal glossopteris leaf from the Gondwana period. Leaf to generate electricity using solar panels

Lucknow’s Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP) which is getting a new sprawling building beside its old campus on University Road, is set to be completed in June this year.

The proposed building of Lucknow’s Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (HT Photo)
The proposed building of Lucknow’s Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (HT Photo)

On the eve of National Science Day, on Wednesday, Prof Mahesh G Thakkar, director, BSIP, spoke in detail about the new building and the research equipment worth crores, some first in India to be added to the institute. “Both the building and new research equipment will give a boost to the research of our scientists,” he said.

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“The building construction is in the last leg and set to be completed by June 2024. The building is being built by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) with a projected cost of approx 100 crore, and is being done under a technical team of BHU, and designed by well-known architect Vijay Sinha,” he said, adding that several permissions from LDA and Lucknow Metro delayed the earlier deadline to be completed in Feb 2024.

“The new six-floor building is spread over approximately 25,000 sq ft with a large leaf-like canopy structure starting from the ground floor to the roof. The leaf is a replica of the Glossopteris bituminous leaf which is from the 300-million-year-old Gondwana period,” said Thakkar. He added that the large leaf not only represents the institute’s work in paleobotany but also a tribute to Indian paleobotanist and institute’s founder Birbal Sahni who worked in Gondwanaland.

“The large steel leaf structure will have solar panels fitted on it to generate electricity,” said Thakkar.

“Besides state-of-the-art facilities, the building will have around 24 labs where modern equipment can be installed,” said Pawan Govil, a scientist looking after the work.

Carbon dating equipment that can work on 50,000 years old samples

Several high-end instruments worth crores are being purchased by the institutes and some of them will be brought for the first time in India.

A micro city scan capable of scanning even microstructure on fossils, worth 4.5 crore, core scanner worth 4.2 crore and special equipment called AMS (accelerated mass spectroscopy) worth 30 crore for dating sediments, organic carbon, shells, tree rings etc. which are 50,000 years old.

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