Published: 28th July 2020
Court asks Centre to re-examine decision to shift NIT to Sumari to ensure safety of students
A PIL has raised objection to the selection of the site, saying Sumari is vulnerable to natural disasters like landslides and earthquakes and will not be fit for a permanent NIT campus
The Uttarakhand High Court has asked the Centre to re-examine its plan to set up a permanent campus of the National Institute of Technology in Sumari in Pauri district, saying the decision "suffers from the vice of irrationality".
A PIL has raised objection to the selection of the site, saying Sumari is vulnerable to natural disasters like landslides and earthquakes and will not be fit for a permanent NIT campus. "The government must examine that this location would not, in any manner, endanger the life and safety of students, faculty and staff of NIT, residential or otherwise. A considered decision should be made on whether the permanent campus of NIT, Uttarakhand, should still be located at Sumari, or should be shifted elsewhere within the State of Uttarakhand," the court said Monday. The court directed the central government to seek expert opinion on the matter and re-examine the location of the permanent campus in Sumari.
Saying that the decision suffers from the "vice of irrationality, unreasonableness and arbitrariness and falls foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of India", Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice RC Khulbe gave the government four months to decide. The temporary campus of the NIT in Srinagar, from where the proposed site for the permanent campus is 15 km, is divided into two segments, unconnected internally.
The students had to use the national highway to travel from one segment to another. In October 2018, two young under-graduate girl students became the victims of a hit-and-run accident on the highway, while walking to attend classes. This led to protests by students and the government began looking for a permanent campus. The foundation stone for the permanent campus was laid in 2019.