The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, rejected the IIT-M’s appeal to allow ongoing construction work.

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, is facing a severe space crunch.

On Monday, the National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, rejected the IIT-M’s appeal to allow ongoing construction work.

Six years ago, the institute embarked on expansion of its facilities after the Central government called for admitting students under ‘other backward class’ reservation category. In 2008, the institute drew up a master plan and wrote to the State government seeking more space. So far, nothing concrete has emerged.

According to its director Bhaskar Ramamurthi, the buildings on the campus currently accommodate around 8,250 students and faculty, almost twice its capacity.

“We have to add 2,800 rooms if we have to provide hostel accommodation to all the students we will admit next academic year,” he says.

Since 2010, the student intake has increased with the government mandating an increase in 54 per cent of its capacity.

“Every year the number of students has been going up. Initially we managed with the space we had, but now it is impossible. We created the second master plan in the middle of 2010. Thankfully, the new girls’ hostel is completed and 350 girls will move in there. This will create space for boys. Undergraduate students are sharing hostel accommodation, two to a room,” he said.

The delay could increase the cost of construction.

“If this doesn’t sort out soon we are in deep crisis,” Dr. Ramamurthi says.