Funds granted to it for the expansion plan of well-known Indology institute in the city, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute are stuck. It is unable to proceed because it is waiting for a “clear title” of a piece of land. Ironically, even as the state government is moving towards e-mutation and e-mojni (for measurement of land) under the National Land Records Modernisation programme, BORI has been trying in vain to get the land title.
The institute had been allotted Rs 5 crore in 2007-08 for the project but it has been unable to put the money to use because it’s caught in a “land exchange” technicality.
BORI was allotted Rs 5 crore in the Union Budget for construction of an auditorium and hostel. Its officials have since been doing the rounds of the municipal corporation and the collector’s office for a clear title of the 87,750 sq ft of the 13 acres under BORI control, owned by the education department. Even as the management has been able to get their seven by twelve extracts in BORI’s name, survey records still mention the earlier owner.
“It is exasperating. Even after repeated requests and visits to the departments the files are not processed and the institute cannot undertake any new project without a clear title and demarcation,’’ said honorary secretary of BORI Maitreyee Deshpande. The institute is run without proper infrastructure. The sanctioned funds cannot be used for other purposes.
“The budgetary allocation clearly mentions the purpose and has even given utilisation time of one year. However, due to the land title issue, we could not take any project forward. We have been writing to the government every year mentioning our problem,’’ added Deshpande. The amount has been deposited in the bank and interest has been generated over the past seven years but they will need the funds for construction once land title is cleared, she said. The central government had given the grant on the condition that if it is not utilised for the purpose for which it has been granted, the institute would return it with 10 per cent interest per annum.
The education department had given part of its land to Balbharati and it had in turn given the same measure of another plot to BORI but did not revoke its title. The order issued by the then Pune district collector A V Shaikh states that exchange of land exempted BORI from paying occupancy charges but it had to pay assessment on land transferred. The order mentions that no building is to be constructed on the said land without prior permission of the PMC. The order states that Mamlatdar is requested to hand over possession of the exchanged area to the institution in consultation with representative of the education department. “It was only in 2013 that BORI got the seven by twelve extracts cleared but the overall land title post the survey, and clearance from PMC is awaited. They mention that the B-form is yet to be completed,’’ said Deshpande.
Aniruddh Deshpande, chairman of the campus committee said they are trying their best to clear hurdles and hope it will be done at the earliest. “We have been doing the rounds of the departments concerned and once title is cleared, we should start construction,’’ he said.
BORI is known for its collection of Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts. The institute was founded in 1917. It has one of the largest collections of rare books and manuscripts .