K. Srimali

SPA representatives averse to moving away from the city

School may be located on the campus of Government Polytechnic

A high-power committee likely to convey its final views soon

VIJAYAWADA: The permanent campus of the prestigious School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) sanctioned by the Centre is likely to come up in the city and its surroundings rather than Veerapanenigudem near Gannavaram where the Krishna district administration has identified 80 acres for the purpose.

Despite the best efforts being made by the district administration to get the campus located at Veerapanenigudem, there are indications that the representatives of SPA, New Delhi, who are playing an important role in the setting up of the Vijayawada campus, are averse to moving away from the city.

“We don’t think architecture and planning can be studied and practised by sitting away from cities and towns. It is a subject that is best understood if students stay in the city or very near to it,” said Ranjit Mitra, Director of the SPA, New Delhi, and Director in-charge of the SPA, Vijayawada.

Speaking to The Hindu over phone recently, Prof. Mitra said the roughly 10-acre patch identified on the campus of Government Polytechnic for the purpose could be put to optimum use to begin with. However, for future expansion, at least another 10 acres would be required for hostels and staff accommodation. “The present campus of the Government Polytechnic has not been built in a planned manner. If the campus is handed over to us in entirety, we can re-build it completely in such a way as to accommodate the polytechnic as well,” Prof. Mitra felt.

That the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development was also keen on locating the campus here became evident with the laying of foundation stone on February 28 by D. Purandeswari during her previous stint as Union Minister of State for HRD. Highly placed officials in the district administration indicated very recently that an effort would be made to find the additional land required for the campus within the five-km radius of the Government Polytechnic.

But, quite surprisingly, District Collector N. Sridhar said during his inspection of the site at Veerapanenigudem on Friday that the campus could be best developed there. A high-power committee of the Union Ministry of HRD and the SPA, New Delhi is likely to convey its final views on the issue during its scheduled visit to the city in the second week of this month.