National institute runs with garage as officehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/national-institute-runs-with-garage-as-office/

National institute runs with garage as office

It is a national institute serving as the headquarters of the Maharashtra and Goa regions and prepares maps that give sensitive topographical information about these regions.

It is a national institute serving as the headquarters of the Maharashtra and Goa regions and prepares maps that give sensitive topographical information about these regions.

But the map of the Survey of India campus at Yerawada shows that the office is not adequately equipped,in terms of space and staff,to handle its tasks. Some of the main work is carried out in makeshift offices and a dingy garage.

“The campus area is 41 acres but the three-storey building in a remote corner has a built-up area of 2941 square feet. It accommodates the printing department,computer rooms,accounts and administrative blocks. For the rest of the work like networking,data transfer,generator and storage,we have makeshift offices and a garage outside the administrative building,” said major general P K Choudhury,additional surveyor general,Maharashtra and Goa.

The situation gets worse in monsoon.

“Water leakage is a major concern and has resulted in immense damage to costly equipment such as antennas and servers,besides maps that have an archival value,” added Choudhury.

The Survey of India,started during the British era in 1767,carries forward the legacy of some renowned surveyors like Sir George Everest. The Pune office,earlier a regional unit,used to run on rented premises at Koregaon Park and shifted to its present location in 1978. “The building was constructed keeping in mind the workload in the earlier office. In the past 31 years,workload and the span of control of the office have grown manifold,whereas the facilities have remained the same,” said A V Godse,surveyor.

The institute is also running short of 87 employees. “Our sanctioned strength is 230 that include working hands,peons,administrative staff as well as field staff. We have only 143 staff who have to multi-task to cope with the work load,” added Choudhury.

As for the living quarters,there are only 15 staff quarters on the campus. There are also other problems like water shortage and people from housing colonies around the area dumping garbage on the campus.

The attempts of the institute to find an answer to these problems have not met with success so far. “The estimated cost of a new building incorporating all the departmental blocks along with staff quarters is in the range of Rs 28-33 crore. We have approached the Ministry of Science and Technology four times in the past four years and they have got back to us saying there are no funds,” said Choudhury.

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Authorities from the central government offices were unavailable for comment.