After 17 years,NIT-Patna campus development set to begin
Almost 17 years after the erstwhile Bihar College of Engineering in Patna was upgraded as the 18th National Institute of Technology (NIT) in the country, construction of its 125-acre campus will begin in Bihta. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Patna has its own campus in Bihta though it came into being after NIT.
According to a senior official, the foundation stone of NIT-Patna campus-- first delayed due to a controversy over the quantum and quality of land required and then due to the hold-up in allotment-- could be laid in October. “The date may be announced once the tender for construction is awarded. It may happen this month only, as the board of directors of NIT-P gave its go ahead on Thursday. All other preparations have been completed,” he added.
A fully residential university, NIT-Patna has struggled for space since its inception in 2004, and despite constructing new buildings at the erstwhile Bihar College of Engineering campus, it was not able to provide accommodation to all its students. Former NIT-P director UC Rai had once said that the ministry of Human Resource development had stopped the institute’s capacity expansion plans till the time it got sufficient infrastructure.
NIT-P director PK Jain admitted that the institution has over 4,500 students and not enough hostels, and it would pose more difficulty due to social distancing requirements in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic.
“But once the campus is ready, all these problems will be over. The Centre has also provided ₹500 crore despite Covid-19 pandemic for the building. It shows the Centre is also keen on getting the campus ready. We hope to complete the campus within two years from the date of foundation laying. At present we have to keep two students in single-seater rooms and this is the reason we are unable to call students right now despite the Covid situation easing,” Jain added.
The National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) is the project management consultant for the NIT’s proposed campus. NBCC signed MoU (memorandum of understanding) with NIT-P earlier this year for supervision of construction and development of Institute integrated campus. The detailed project report (DPR) has already been approved.
The journey of what is NIT Patna today started in 1886 with the establishment of pleaders survey training school, which was subsequently converted into the Bihar College of Engineering, Patna in 1924. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is also an alumni of the institution.
The proposed campus will comply with the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) requirements, including sewage treatment plant, solar power plant, battery-operated eco-friendly vehicles, waste-to-energy and water bodies. It will have five academic blocks, an academic block, lecture hall complex, hostels, faculty quarters, director’s residence, staff quarter etc.