Kuvempu varsity's long wait for humanities block

Kuvempu varsity's long wait for humanities block

Of the six vice-chancellors of the University who have served so far, only Prof Shanthinatha K Desai, the first vice chancellor, was from humanities background, while the other VCs were from the science background.

The present Vice Chancellor S A Bari is the second professor who comes from humanities background. Realising the need to have to an independent social sciences block in the university campus, Bari has taken steps in this direction and had identified a site within the campus for the purpose.

As a part of its silver jubilee celebrations, the University decided to have separate blocks for social sciences and language departments.

Then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa laid the foundation stone for social sciences block project worth Rs 7 crore on June 29 this year. But, the construction work may not start as the University has been directed by the Forest Department not to axe trees in and around the campus as the lease for the 210 acres of forest area given to the university has not been renewed since 1999.

As per the norms, the University has to pay Net Present Value (NPV) of Rs 43 crore to go ahead with its Social Sciences building project. As it is an uphill task, Kuvempu University has moved Supreme Court seeking exemption from NPV on the grounds that it is an educational institution. The officials of Kuvempu University and Forest Department are awaiting the verdict of the Supreme Court.

Lease expired in 1999

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Shankar, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Bhadra Tiger Reserve Area, Lakkavalli sub-division, Chikmagalur district, said nearly 210 acres of forest land was leased to Kuvempu University for a period of 20 years.

The lease agreement came to an end in 1999. As per the norms, either the University has to pay NPV or refrain from constructing any new building within the campus.

“It’s true NPV is very high as the university campus comes under Bhadra Tiger Reserve area. If it was in any regular forest area, such a huge amount wouldn’t have been demanded. Bhadra Tiger Reserve Area is spread across 495 sq km beginning from Shankarghatta, Bhadravathi taluk and ending at Balehonnur in Chikmagalur district. As per census 1997, the area has 33 tigers, of which 15 are male, 12 are female and six are cubs. If the Supreme Court verdict goes in favour of Kuvempu University, we have no objection at all,” the ACF said.

Bari said: “The social sciences block project is a long-pending dream of students and the staff of the university. I would be very happy, if Supreme Court announces the verdict in favour of the university during my tenure as VC.”