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28 Feb 2024, Edition - 3151, Wednesday

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MGR’s dream becomes a reality after 35 years

Irshad Ahamed


Thanjavur: The dream of late chief minister M G Ramachandran, who is fondly called MGR, has at last become a reality after a span of 35 years with the completion of the construction of five buildings in the shape of the Tamil letters ‘Tha’, ‘mi’, ‘zh’, ‘na’ and ‘du’ to make the word ‘Tamil Nadu’.

The Tamil University, located on a sprawling 900 acre campus in Thanjavur, was established and inaugurated by MGR, who was the then Chief Minister, on September 15, 1981 with an objective to enable higher research in the Tamil language and advanced study in allied branches such as linguistics, translation, lexicography, music, drama and manuscriptology.

When the university was established in 1981, MGR wanted the construction of buildings representing letters ‘Tha’, ‘mi’, ‘zh’, ‘na’ and ‘du’ which will spell out ‘Tamil Nadu’. He also approved the master plan.

“Following which, the building in the shape of the Tamil letter ‘zh’ , which is spread over 23,089 sq ft, was completed in 1989 just two years after MGR’s demise. Funds required for the construction of this building was allotted in the XI Five Year Plan. Language faculty is now housed in this building,” says Vice-Chancellor G Bhaskaran.

Later two more buildings, now housing the faculties of Science and Developing Tamil, were constructed in the shape of ‘mi’ and ‘du’. The building shaped ‘mi’, spread over 20,858 sq ft, was constructed at an outlay of Rs. 3.21 crores under the XI Five Year Plan. Tamil University contributed Rs. 1 crore while the UGC allotted the rest. The building ‘du’, spread over 18,191 sq ft, was constructed at an outlay of Rs. 2.21 crores with fund allocation made by the former Union Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam from his MP’s Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund. This building was completed just one year ago.

The remaining two buildings in the shape of ‘Tha’ and ‘Na’ have been now completed at an outlay of Rs. 15 crores as announced by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the State Assembly under Rule 110. ‘Tha’ has been constructed in about 19,806 sq ft while ‘du’ has been constructed in about 18,191 sq ft.

The five buildings have been constructed in a 278 metre radius with the library building in the centre. You will be able to see the buildings forming the word ‘Tamil Nadu’ from an aerial view. With the construction of these five buildings, former Chief Minister MGR’s dream has now turned into a reality after 35 years, Dr Bhaskaran said.

“Unlike the other three buildings, ‘Tha’ and ‘du’ are technology-wise modern. Each of these two buildings has a smart conference hall and two smart classrooms. These buildings also are equipped with modern facilities such as internet connection, CCTV, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and even an approach road,” he added.

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