Pouring water on the aspirations of the student community and academicians in East Godavari district, a high-power committee has decided to locate Adikavi Nannaya University (AKNU) at Mallisala near Jaggampeta, about 45 km from Rajahmundry.
When it was established in Rajahmundry in 2006, everyone thought that it would be another milestone in the history of the city. When the then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy laid the foundation stone for the institution on March 1, 2009, students and academicians expressed their happiness that things were slowly but steadily taking shape.
Finally, in the beginning of this year, when in charge Vice-Chancellor B. Satyanarayana, MP V. Arun Kumar and the then Collector Gopalakrishna Dwivedi announced that some 129.67 acres had been acquired in the Velugubanda area, where, incidentally, the foundation stone was laid, it was perceived that the university would soon have its own buildings.
But Sunday's decision to locate the institution at Mallisala in Peddapuram revenue division citing continued legal hurdles seemed to be the direct fallout of the role played by two political leaders, who, it was alleged, had backtracked after having agreed to part with their landholdings at Velugubanda when they were not in power before the Assembly and Council elections.
“Because of continuous court litigations at Velugubanda, the high-power committee has decided to go for an alternative land. We have two options. One is to locate the university at Mallisala and second near the airport at Korukonda. The committee has opted the first one,” said Mr. Satyanarayana, who is also Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University.
He hoped that within three years there would be a beautiful structure in Mallisala for AKNU.
“A university is important. Whether it is located in Velugubanda or Mallisala is secondary. We have to construct an imposing structure and give high quality education,” said Mr. Arun Kumar, who is also a member of the high-power committee.
“There is one bit of 498 acres of government land in Mallisala between two hillocks. It is a beautiful place,” said East Godavari Collector M. Ravichandra.
“We have acquired 129.67 acres out of 325.55 acres that are notified in Velugubanda village. An amount of Rs.18.19 crores has been kept ready for acquiring the land from farmers of that area. However, court cases have upset our plans,” the Collector added.
Meanwhile, the prospects of granting affiliation to 342 colleges are also bleak, as the Vice-Chancellor is reportedly not keen on pursuing the matter.