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Can’t further fund mechanical engineering block, Bangalore University to tell govt | Bengaluru News

BENGALURU: Bangalore University has decided to write to the government about its decision not to further fund the new mechanical engineering block of University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE). The estimated cost of construction is around Rs 85 crore, and BU has already released Rs 29 crore.
The decision was taken at a recent syndicate meeting of the university. UVCE, the state’s first engineering college, was under the ambit of BU. In 2021, the state government passed the University of Visvesvaraya College of Engineering Act, 2021 to make it a non-affiliating university with the intention to upgrade it to an institution of eminence.
The construction estimate has increased multifold since the proposal was first mooted in 2017. Initially, the block was planned for Rs 19 crore. In August 2020, the cost was revised to Rs 55 crore. Subsequently, in 2021, the government approved an estimate of Rs 85 crore. The work was entrusted to the construction unit of health and family welfare department on January 1, 2022. The syndicate has been questioning the hike in the estimate over the past two years. “How can the estimate rise so drastically in one year?” wondered H Sudhakar, syndicate member.
The department quoted the lowest tender, which was 9.5% of the specified rate. It said the cost will be Rs 94.5 crore and may reach up to Rs 100 crore on completion. Since, the tender premium cannot be more than 5% of the specified rate, the syndicate had decided to meet the works committee. “They cited reasons like it was not possible to carry on with the work during day time as it is the city centre. However, after discussion with the works committee, it was decided that they will stick to the 5% premium,” said BU VC Jayakar Shetty.
BU released Rs 29 crore last month based on the recommendation of the finance committee. The syndicate and committee had decided that the remaining amount will be used from the internal resources of UVCE in the coming years. “We have already informed the chairman of the board of governors of UVCE that we do not have the resources to fund the rest of the construction. We will officially write to the government about it,” said Shetty.
The varsity will ask the government to utilise UVCE’s internal funds for the purpose. At the syndicate meeting, the members suggested UVCE could mobilise funds from the alumni. The finance officer suggested that since the government is contemplating a separate budget head for UVCE for 2023-24, it could mobilise funds from that.
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