Update On The Endless: Golden Jubilee Building
Ironically, suggestions for Diamond Jubilee celebrations are being sought by the institute but the forever under-construction building, the Golden Jubilee building has not even been handed over to the institute. The Golden Jubilee building, commemorating 50 successful batches of NITRians, was supposed to be completed by the end of 2016. But for some reason or the other, the date has been extended year after year. Apart from being the centre of the institute, it promises to provide a serene view of the steel city. In this article, we have a look at the budget, design and the delay in hand over. We have also compiled the responses of Dean Planning & Development, Prof. P.K. Sahu and PIC Civil Construction Prof. P. sarkar regarding this matter.
The contract for the construction of the Golden Jubilee Building was given to Shapoorji Pallonji Group, a global, diversified organisation of 18 major companies. With its headquarters based in Mumbai, the company has a dedicated workforce of over 70000 people spread in over 70 countries. The same company was also given the contract for 5 other construction works, namely SD hall of residence, Mechanical Sciences building, Lecture hall complex B, Faculty Residence 1 and Residential. The aggregated cost of all 6 of the above-mentioned projects stands at around 300 crores. The budget estimate for the Golden Jubilee building alone is around 100 crores.
The Golden Jubilee building for long has been every photographer's delight. Ever since the commencement of work in August 2013, the architectural masterpiece that the outer design of the building provides has caught the attention of a lot of lenses. The design is that of a large ship with multiple windows and tenders (small boats) towards the backside. The glasses fitted in the building will give a magnificent look to the building, especially at night.
Purpose Of The Building
The magnanimous building in addition to being an architectural marvel is also supposed to be the very epicentre of the functioning of NIT Rourkela. Planned to be the administrative building, the structure has taken a good many 7 years for completion. The construction project was undertaken by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group for 2 years, that further extended to more than 7 years. The ambitious housing plan includes:
A large cafeteria planned on the ground floor.
The Biju Patnaik Central Library to occupy the expanse of 2 floors.
Administrative dens and offices of the Director, all Deans and Registrar.
The relocated centres of Establishment, Academic, SRICCE, Internal Audit and Finance sections.
A modern furnished conference centre.
A furnished auditorium
The Department of Earth and Atmospheric sciences would also be using the building for its height to make astronomical observatories.
The building is also equipped with fire sensors and automatic water sprinklers for an emergency. A total of 6 elevators are supposed to run the length of the structure. The building is fully air-conditioned that is centralized. Accordingly, natural ventilation is ruled out for the building. However, the lower end air-conditioning would still need a good many 8 months and adequate funds for installation once the handover is complete. There is also a provision of a rounded parking lot with separate space for the Director and officials.
Rumours and Reality
This said and done, since a couple of years, there have been rumours and hearsay among the NIT Rourkela community about the foundation of the structure not being strong enough. Prof. P. Sarkar, PIC Civil Construction sheds light on the issue,
The rumour is not true. As a Structural engineer, I would like to assure all students this building does not have any structural deficiency. The building is designed by experienced engineers of M/S InForm architects, Bangalore. To have a double-check, as per the advice of our Director, we are now looking for a proof-consultant for vetting of the structural design of this building.
To Consolidate, Dean P&D Prof. P.K. Sahu added:
The foundation of the building is very strong, the contractor is a very renowned one, i.e. SPCL (Shapoorji Pallonji Group) and they are the contractors for many buildings (5 buildings) that have already been handed over to the institute and we have never faced such defects. The drawing given by the architect was approved by the committee and there is no basis for this rumour.
Coming to the real challenge that the structure currently faces, persistent water seepage from under the ground that doesn’t seem to cease. As shown in the above picture, this required a separate pumping (left side) and outlets of water that otherwise make pools and streams on the ground floor. Prof. P. Sarkar adds,
This problem is very disturbing to me. We have the same problem in the LA-1 and Electrical Building. The ‘groundwater table’ of this area is at a higher level. We shouldn’t have planned a basement here. Now we are not able to fight against the natural phenomena of seepage.
This is an engineering challenge and relevant steps are taken to ‘stem the tide’. The officials remain hopeful that the problem would be addressed. Speaking about the delay in the handover, Prof. P.K. Sahu adds,
I don't know the reasons behind the delay as my tenure was not started at that time, the executive engineer must be knowing them but when I joined in July 2019, it came to my knowledge that because of certain reasons, the contractor has asked for an extension. Thus, we have extended the date to 31st October 2019. The building has been completed. We have given the provisional completion certificate. We are trying to make it operational as soon as possible.
Work, however, doesn’t stop here. There has to be incessant streamlining of maintenance and regulation undertaking.
On being asked about the updates about interior and estimated handover date, Prof. P.K. Sahu said:
The interior of the building is ready. We will do the inspection soon and If some minor defects are found then under the terms and conditions, the contractor has to repair them within the defect liability period otherwise some money will be deducted from the security deposit. With satisfaction and no defects, the contractor will hand over the building to the Institute.
On a final note, Prof. P. Sarkar adds,
I would like to see the Golden Jubilee Building as the most outstanding concrete structure in the smart city of Rourkela. At the same time, it should be fit for its intended purpose. The Building faced problem during its construction phase. I hope its operational phase will be prosperous!
The glorious structure is indeed metaphorically and geographically, ‘the heart of NIT Rourkela’. Umpteen photographs and sneak-peak (winks) adventures of the NIT Rourkela junta abounds in our lives and social media. The handover is slated to be completed within a few weeks. The operation and full-fledged functioning, however, won’t be starting for at least a year now.