The University of Pune (UoP) recently got a green signal from the state government to initiate infrastructure projects worth over Rs 2.5 crore on its campus without seeking permission from the Public Works Department (PWD) anymore.
Governor and Chancellor of universities in the state K Sankaranarayanan agreed to the UoP’s demand, to go ahead with infrastructure projects on the campus without PWD’s permission, in principle.
The move will help several pending projects see the light of day, including a sports complex and a convention centre, among others, that were on papers for the past several years. A budget of several crores was sanctioned for these projects.
Until recently, the UoP officials had to seek PWD’s permission to go ahead with projects exceeding Rs 2.5 crore. The state’s decision will not only allow the varsity officials to call the shots pertaining to major projects, but will also give them freedom to go ahead with the tendering process and selection of private contractors.
“Recently, I had a detailed meeting with the Governor. Until recently, the UoP was only permitted to initiate projects worth between Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 2.5 crore. But as the university is expanding, several projects are in the pipeline, which have budgets of over Rs 100 crore,” UoP Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade said. “Henceforth, before starting a new project, all we have to do is send a detailed report to the Governor. Once we get his approval, we can start the tendering process,” Gade said.
UoP Senior Senate member and chairperson of Progressive Education Society Dr Gajanan Ekbote welcomed the move. “We have been demanding this autonomy from the last 10 years, through senate and management council of the university. This is a positive step and it will bypass all procedural hurdles,” Ekbote said.
Every year the varsity makes a budgetary provision of Rs 100 crore for executing infrastructure projects. The UoP had set aside Rs 107 crore for constructing new buildings on its campus for 2008-09, of which just Rs 13 crore were spent. “We observed that only 20 per cent of the actual budget was being utilised,” Ekbote said.
>> Sports complex: Rs 80 cr
>> Convention centre: Rs 32 cr
>> Bhasha bhavan: Rs 20 cr