Visakhapatnam has long since been hailed as the to-be educational hub of Andhra Pradesh, but reality is far from it. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, local MLAs, MPs and ministers have also been hyping on the same since before the 2014 assembly election.
In the last few years, institutes have come in – some even central – but they are still operating in hired campuses in ad hoc mode. They are yet to move into their own campuses. Reportedly, one of the central project set up six years ago, Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), is still at its hired campus and yet to move into their proposed Sabbavaram campus.
Despite the state government’s sanction of 45 acres for the same, construction has been going on since the last four years. Only one block has been completed in the time-frame and officials have partly moved into the campus. While the plans drawn for the campus are grand – consisting of a sprawling library and a court hailed to be one of the best amongst the country, the slow pace of work can reportedly be credited to slow release of funds by the state government.
Despite MoUs for IIM-Visakhapatnam and Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy being signed 2 years ago, the construction work is yet to even begin. Both institutes now operate on campuses leased out by Andhra University. Despite all the central institutes having drawn up plans and funds, the land allocation by the state government is taking too much time.
The IIM-V was allocated 300 acres at Gambheeram but the land allocation is yet to be done and the state government is yet to build the compound wall. The entire cost of the IIPE project is estimated to be around Rs 800 crore. The amount is to be borne by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and backed financially and academically by HPCL, IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL, OIDB, BPCL and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Despite the support of the state government, the process hasn’t sped up. The progress of Indian Maritime University (IMU) stands the same, despite being backed by the Ministry of Shipping. It took five years for the state government to allocated land for the university.
Most importantly, the proposed education city at Sabbavaram has been mooted as the state government hasn’t been able to find an investor for the project. Even the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) has backed off from Sabbavaram. A senior educationist pointed out to The Hindu that the state government’s shift has focused from Visakhapatnam to Amaravati.