The erstwhile Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore, and the present Anna University Regional Centre, Coimbatore, share the same status – of being located on a rented premises.

The Regional Centre continues to operate in what used to be a mill in Jothipuram. Many academics and a few political parties have been harping on the need for a “world-class infrastructure” for an institution of that stature, in vain.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had read a statement under Rule 110 in the Assembly in April allotting “Rs. 30 crore for construction of education-related buildings and Rs. 10 crore for hostels” for the Madurai and Coimbatore Regional Centres of the university. This had revived the hope of many about a good facility for the Coimbatore Regional Centre, but with nearly two months gone and no sign of work starting, academics say it is high time that something is done.

The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has urged the new Vice-Chancellor of Anna University M. Rajaram to take steps to make the Regional Centre into a world-class educational facility. In a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, V. Eswaran, secretary of the Youth Wing of MDMK, has lamented that there has been no development activity in the Regional Centre.

“This was the case even when the Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore, was functioning. No permanent building or infrastructure was provided though the university had nearly Rs. 190 crore in its kitty. Now, after the merger of the universities, the Regional Centres have been established. Still, there is no sign of any development taking place,” he said.

There was also disappointment that the new Vice-Chancellor had not visited the Regional Centre during his recent visit to Coimbatore for attending a graduation in a private college.

E. Balagurusamy, former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, and Member, State Planning Commission, said it was a pity that even with the Government allotting land and the university having had funds to the tune of Rs. 200 crore no permanent infrastructure had been put in place. Anna University sources said that the Building Committee was drawing up plans for new buildings at the site allotted, with the money announced by the Chief Minister. Tenders would be called for according to standard procedure and the work would begin soon, as expected.