The restoration work at Andhra University (AU) in Visakhapatnam, which suffered considerable damage due to cyclone Hudhud last year, has been slowed down due to crunch of funds. The repair includes Hudhud debris clearance.
The campus needs to be ready by July end because classes will begin for the new academic session and the varsity has to go for NAAC accreditation. Moreover, monsoon will set in June. This has made it a difficult situation for varsity authorities, who had managed to raise Rs 2.5 crore through donations and decided to divert the funds meant for regular maintenance work for restoration. The authorities are also planning to divert some money from the block fund of around Rs 218 crore and later ask the state government for compensation.
Rs 3.5 crore had been spent so far on repairs and cleaning works on campus as well as relaying the wiring, but this is just a small part of of what requires to be done to bring the campus back on its feet.
It may be mentioned that for the first time in its history, AU announced a deficit-free budget of Rs 332.03 crore for fiscal 2015-16. AU authorities said that the state government will provide Rs 218.5 crore as block grant, the Centre will give Rs 20 crore as block grant and Rs 1.75 crore for development of sports hostel and gymnasium. The rest of the money will be raised internally.
They also said that Rs 149.5 crore will be spent on paying salaries to regular employees, Rs 18 crore as salaries for contract employees, Rs 100 crore for pensions and Rs 64 crore on projects like the biometric attendance system, automation of the administrative block, construction of new residential blocks, solar electricity generation project and development of the gerontology department.