Society

IIT-M permitted to complete work on new hostel buildings

Activists had raised concerns of threat to the ecology of the forest land on which the campus stands. Photo: M. Karunakaran

Activists had raised concerns of threat to the ecology of the forest land on which the campus stands. Photo: M. Karunakaran

Around 800 students of Indian Institute of Technology–Madras (IIT-M) will soon get regular hostel accommodation.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has permitted the institute to complete work on two new hostel buildings and a sewage treatment plant.

NGT sources said the State Environment Impact Authority has granted clearance for construction of only three structures. The stay on other construction work remains.

IIT-M had been embroiled in a legal battle following a petition by a group of environmental activists who said the new structures threatened the ecology of the forest land on which the campus stood.

IIT-M said the government had declassified the land as non-forest area even before the first building was built there in the 1950s.

Bhaskar Ramamurthy, director of the institute, said they would continue to seek permission to build the required facilities. In one of the new hostels, that has the capacity to accommodate 550 girl students, only three weeks’ work is left.

As many as 300 girls currently occupy the PhD quarters, which will soon be allotted exclusively to married students.

“Once the boys’ hostel is completed in three months, it will ease pressure on student accommodation. But we need an academic complex to house faculty and set up a food court for students. We also need to expand the chemistry block. We need two labs for research students and with the government deciding to increase intake of PhD students, this has become critical,” said Dr. Bhaskar.

At IITs, the faculty is housed on the premises to allow them to continue research work without hindrance. At present, a number of faculty members at IIT-M stay off campus, said Dr. Bhaskar.


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 8:09:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-society/iitm-permitted-to-complete-work-on-new-hostel-buildings/article6517179.ece