|The Mumbai University has unveiled an ambitious plan to expand the staid Kalina campus ten-fold into a vibrant, educational complex that could house over 10,000 students. The University currently offers hostel facilities to 2,000 students.|
The major expansion plan that is still being worked upon will require a whopping ₹3,000 cr. budget of which it has managed to get comitments for ₹510 cr.
Brainchild of the current Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh, the plan envisages a vibrant university that could facilitate growth and development of study in various fields minus any space constraints. “The plan is to develop the University vertically to develop 10 million sq. ft. of building space that could meet the infrastructure needs of the university,” Mr. Deshmukh said.
Currently, the Kalina campus is underutilised with just 17 lakh sq. ft. of building space to house its various departments and facilities. “The plan envisages building about 10 million sq. ft. of space by utilising just 33% of the 250-acre campus; the remaining 67% would continue to be open as green area,” said Mr. Deshmukh.
He believes that there has been a lot of mis-utilisation of space. “What’s the point of building just ground plus two structures now? Doesn’t it make more sense to have 21-storied structures that can house a department on every floor? Instead of having a separate Hindi Bhavan with segregated housing and facilities, I would actually be able to earmark a floor each for study or development of each language, where they could share common resources like auditoriums for their programs,” Mr. Deshmukh explains.
Earlier, speaking at a function to launch degree courses in film art at the MU, Mr. Deshmukh said he envisaged a day where the film department would have it’s own building complete with studios inside.
Elaborating on the funding model, Mr. Deshmukh said it would not be a private public partnership model and neither was he looking for investors as he was very clear that “the entire complex should stay completely as Mumbai University’s property”.
He said: “We are not looking for investors and neither will we approach our alumni; instead funds would be generated through endowments for this project. We could offer terms like allowing people to name certain buildings or floors in the name of benefactors in lieu of funds,” he said. Also, since the plans won’t require government or University funding, Mr. Deshmukh hopes that things won’t be delayed in getting sanctions for this project.
“The management council is already in the loop on this, though their clearance is not really a requisite for this project, since there is no need for funding required here,” Mr. Deshmukh revealed. He wants to set the ball rolling and see his pet project through at least on the financial front before his term ends in the next three years.