Chennai: Its not all about technology at the IIT-M. Showing concern for the blackbuck population on its campus, which has increased from 13 in 2007 to 34 this year and other deer roaming its grounds, the institute has decided to create deer corridors with adequate space between buildings to allow the animals free movement.
“The architects drawing up a master plan for the institute have recommended that we demolish the old buildings and construct six storey ones with space in between for the deer to roam the grounds. We have decided to go along with this,” said IIT-M director, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi.
Noting that the institute had always given priority to conserving nature and animals on campus, he explained that the idea was to create more open space as several old buildings had hardly any distance between them. “We have several buildings like these at Triplicane and Mylapore, which we will now replace with taller more widely spaced constructions,” he added.
The institute has also identified a couple of houses near the lake for demolition to preserve its natural surroundings.
“As it is a low-lying area the houses are often flooded. Whenever these houses get condemned we will demolish them and their occupants shifted to multi-storey buildings that will be constructed in areas where they are permitted,” he assured, adding that the new area identified by the architects was less than three per cent of the cap placed by the institute.
Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi has been associated with the institute for over three decades as student ,faculty and director.
The IIT-M’s annual animal census last year found 34 blackbucks, 238 bonnet macaque and 403 chital deer on campus.
Wildlife conservationist R.J. Ranjith Daniels said the increase in number of blackbucks on IIT-Madras campus could be termed a success story in conservation and planning.
“We recommended to the institute to identify critical habitat, identify territories and the area of herds to preserve them, which the institute did and the number of blackbucks increased. With equal number of male and female population we now have good scope for breeding,” he said.