Two years after the Centre proposed setting up the Vikramshila central university in Bhagalpur, and earmarked Rs 500 crore for it, the institution has been a non-starter. For, the Bihar government has not been able to identify land, which it had to.
After two years of wait and a gentle reminder by President Pranab Mukherjee in March, when he last visited Bhagalpur, the district administration has now identified three separate chunks of 500 acre land. The proposal will be sent to the education department, after it rejected an earlier one, in which the district administration had identified just one plot of land, leaving the government with no choice.
All the three chunks of land shortlisted are located in Kahalgaon subdivision of the district, close to where the Vikramshila university had existed in the past. The first is a piece of land under Antichak, Nandgola and Singal Biata moujas. Another land holding is under Ekdara, Singal Biata and Parshuramchak moujas and the third under Kissandaspur, Mohanpur and Goghatta moujas.
Bhagalpur district magistrate Adesh T confirmed that three proposals of 500 acre each had been finalised for forwarding to the state government. He said suitability of land was being examined and acquisition cost being worked out. “Once complete, we will send the proposal to the government,” he added.
Efforts to contact the DM on Monday to ascertain the reason for delay in identifying land proved futile. The DM did not respond to HT’s phone call. When HT texted him, he wrote back, “Pl contact education dept for it as it is the nodal dept.”
In March last year, the district had sent to the government a single proposal of 500 acres of land under Antichak, Nandgola and Singal Biata moujas (revenue villages). The same was, however, sent back on the premise that three land proposals of 500 acre each had to be shortlisted.
District land acquisition officer Jitendra Kumar Sah said land acquisition could tentatively cost the exchequer between Rs 202 crore and Rs 350 crore for holdings under consideration.