According to reports, the power situation at NIT-Trichy is so grim, that it has prompted its director to come out with a statement expressing the need for students to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the issue. NIT-Trichy director S Sundarrajan on Wednesday referred to the power situation in his campus as “miserable” and said, “If it were not a government institution, it would have been closed by now.”
Sundarrajan said the governing board of NIT-T had made the power problem a ‘critical issue’ and has already approved expenditure of Rs 60,000 a day for hiring generators for six months to start with. The power crunch is felt more than ever as the three-day “Festember-2012,” an annual inter-collegiate literary and cultural festival, gets underway from September 27 to 30.
Talking on the sidelines of the meeting to give out information about this season’s Festember festival, Sundarrajan said that with an asset of 3,000 brains (student strength), NIT-T could have shed more light on harnessing solar power for decentralized small-scale applications. Such a situation would also have freed higher institutions like this from the political manoeuvring that denied them uninterrupted power, he said.
Sundarrajan repeatedly highlighted that the students – coming from varied backgrounds and highly talented – were the biggest asset and they were geared to withstand any challenges arising out of lack of power and unscheduled power outages. Answering a question, he said though the students were creative enough to come out with solar solutions to banish darkness at least within the campus. “Academic learning is one thing, and entrusting students to solve infrastructural problems of the institution is another,” Sundarrajan said. However, he said the institution would explore ways to buy commercially available solar power after six months because the power situation is worsening.
A Bakthavatsalam, who is in-charge of training and placements, told TOI that the shortage of power – now 13 hours a day on campus – brought to a halt the day-to-day life of students. Though classes were conducted regularly, classroom projections go off time and again, and students who could not get good sleep came to class the next day haggard and bleary-eyed. “This indeed takes a toll on the overall academic performance of students and blunts their innovative spirit,” he said.
The Central government spends not less than Rs 8 lakh per student graduating out of NITs, and they should not be given a raw deal, said an academic.
Meanwhile, the dean of SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre near Chennai, Dr James Pandian, said that neither the hospital nor the research centre was affected by the power cut in the neighbourhood because the institution had full power back up.
“Our simulation centre, laboratories, operation theatres and everything else has full power back up because we cannot afford to compromise on health or research. The diesel generator expense goes up to Rs 80,000 to Rs1 lakh a day. On Sundays, when there are 14-hour power cuts sometimes we spend around Rs1.5 lakh,” Pandian said.