AURANGABAD: After an inordinate delay in setting up School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in Aurangabad, an online petition, addressed to Union HRD minister Prakash Javadkar and chief minister of state Devendra Fadnavis, has been put demanding expediting the process.
Jitendra Dehade, a senate member of Bamu, who started the petition on Sunday said, “It is an irony that the premier institute could be realised for past three years.”
The SPA for Aurangabad was announced in March 2015 during the annual budget session of the state. “The project has failed to make any progress. Moreover, funds of Rs 10 crore that were announced for the project at that time have been lapsed already,” he said.
The petition, which has narrated the chronology and facts associated with the project, was signed by nearly 259 individuals by Sunday.
Dehade alleged that announcement of setting SPA at Aurangabad was a political gimmick.
“The state and the centre were facing public outrage over denial for setting up IIM in Aurangabad. The city lost the IIM project to Nagpur due to political pressure, sparking angry reactions from the industry, academia and other stakeholders. To pacify the stakeholders, political leaders used gimmick by announcing SPA,” Dehade said.
The proposed SPA in the city would only be fourth in the country after New Delhi, Bhopal and Vijaywada. It is noteworthy that some Congress leaders from Pune, in past, had thrown their weight behind setting up SPA in their city. The state government’s announcement to set up the premier institute at Aurangabad had come as a surprise to many.
Stakeholders said that Marathwada is deliberately being ignored. “The educational projects meant for Nagpur have become functional, while those announced for Marathwada are still on paper. The CM and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari left no stone unturned to ensure AIIMS, IIM, IIIT, National Law University and Government Engineering College becoming reality within minimum time at their hometown Nagpur. Barring Law School, Aurangabad is badly neglected,” said a senior faculty from civil engineering department of local engineering college, preferring anonymity.
When contacted, local BJP MLA Atul Save said necessary follow-up for setting up SPA was on. “Like the National Law School, the SPA will become reality in near future,” he said.