New Delhi: The Delhi University (DU) administration had asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) this month for Rs 5,000 crore for the construction of several buildings for use by the university, but the MHRD has struck down the proposal, saying that the proposal is “unjustifiable” and “over hyped” and, therefore, the ministry cannot give the nod for it.

According to a DU finance committee member, under the proposal, the DU administration had submitted a quotation for the construction of buildings and had sought Rs 7,000 per square meter on an average, to which the finance committee members raised objection and termed the quotation “unjustifiable”.

The DU community has been raising the issue of funds crunch at various platforms, but has not bothered to spend the money that it had, but returned to the University Grants Commission.

Rajpal Singh Panwar, an elected member of DU’s finance committee told The Sunday Guardian: “The DU administration has failed to spend Rs 300 crore it had received for the construction of buildings and other development work. The unspent money has already been returned to the University Grants Commission. Due to the shortsightedness and lethargic approach of the DU administration, the funds had lapsed.”

“This month, during the finance committee meet where MHRD officials were present, the DU administration submitted a proposal for fund to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore for the construction of buildings in DU, but the quotation it had put up before the committee was too high to be considered. The DU proposal had sought Rs 7,000 per square meter as construction charges, which, compared to current market rates available for the construction of any building in Delhi, is more than thrice. After seeing the quotation, MHRD officials openly criticised the DU administration and struck down the proposal, terming it unjustifiable and over hyped,” Panwar said.

“In the finance committee meeting, the DU administration had also sought for clearance of old bills of contractors, but the finance committee members questioned the validity of its demand as some of these bills are pending for over three decades. In a similar demand, the DU administration had sought Rs 40 crore to clear a bill; however, the original tender was of Rs 6 crore,” Panwar said.

“A building that was built to accommodate the chemistry faculty and laboratories lies unused as the university administration is yet to commission the building. Due to this negligence, the lab instruments that are kept in the building are gathering dust and I won’t be surprised if they don’t work in future,” Panwar said.

The Sunday Guardian sought the response from DU officials—Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and the Registrar of the University Professor Tarun Kumar Das—but their replies are still awaited.

 

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