IIT Guwahati, AICTE To Provide Solutions For Water, Electricity & Internet Issues In North-East

The project, which is first-of-its-kind, was started under ‘Grant for Augmenting Infrastructure in North Eastern Region,’ which provides support to enhance the functional efficiency of technical institutions located in far-flung areas

Prof Sharad Gokhale (L) and Dr Dudul Das (R)

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati is partnering with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to develop solutions to problems of accessing water, electricity and internet for the AICTE-affiliated technical institutions in North-East India. 

IIT Guwahati and AICTE will work towards capacity-building in these institutions to promote Research and Development and enhance the quality of education in remote regions of North-East India.

Due to hilly terrain, most institutions in the North-East region are located in remote places where the supply of adequate power and safe drinking water are a challenge. 

The steering committee for this project consists of Prof. Sharad B. Gokhale, Head, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Guwahati, Prof. Gopal Das, Head, Department of Chemistry, IIT Guwahati, Prof. Santosh Kumar Dwivedy, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Guwahati and Prof. Chandan Mahanta, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Guwahati. 

The project team led by Prof. Sharad B. Gokhale consists of Dr Dudul Das, Project Engineer, IIT Guwahati, Hrishikesh Bhattacharjya, Associate Project Engineer, IIT Guwahati, Dr Rajneesh Kumar, Associate Project Engineer, IIT Guwahati,  Arindom Borah, Project Secretary, IIT Guwahati, Dr Neeraj Saxena, Advisor, Institutional Development Cell (IDC), AICTE and Amit K. Singh, Assistant Director, Institutional Development Cell (IDC), AICTE among others.

Through Phase 1 of the project, a total of 416 kW of power has been generated that would help laboratories, offices, and street lights to function uninterrupted. Further, at many institutions drinking water sources were either not adequate or untreated containing significant levels of iron and arsenic. Phase 1 project has facilitated these institutions to improve their water supply and treatment facilities.

Phase 1 project is scheduled to be completed this month (August 2022). Phase 2 of the project has just been initiated and will cover 33 new institutions where Internet connectivity would be provided in addition to solar and water facilities. 

Solar power plants installed at these institutions would reduce a significant financial burden compared to conventional electricity supply over 25 years of its service period. Since the plants have also installed batteries for storing energy, it will provide an uninterrupted power supply to operate computational laboratories and other essential academic requirements. 

During the first phase of this project, 27 institutions received funding of Rs. 5.4 cr for installation of solar power plants and 16 institutions received funding of Rs 1.92 cr for water treatment facilities. With the implementation of the Phase-I project several concerns of these institutions related to power and water infrastructure were addressed. 

Another major concern in the NER is digital connectivity which is being taken up in Phase 2 project in which high-speed internet will be facilitated in various technical institutions of NE India. Through Phase-1 and Phase-2 projects, IIT Guwahati also provides skill development in the preparation of DPR, and development of research proposals. Therefore, the project has the unique benefit of creating a trained pool of faculties from these remotely placed institutions.

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