Will take up ZSI’s space constraint issue on its request: Harsh Vardhan

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Kolkata, May 8 (IANS) Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said the Central government would request the West Bengal government to provide land to the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) to overcome its “space constraint” issue, only if it requests him.

Headquartered in Kolkata, the ZSI has been looking for “appropriate land” from the West Bengal government for setting up a campus here.

“Regarding space constraint, you keep trying for (more) space. You can write to us and can write to Chief Minister of West Bengal. I can also write to her and you can always ask for land,” Harsh Vardhan said in his address at a programme in the institution.

“…but there are some of the best institutions worldwide. They are the best not because of their building or the space they have. They are the best because of their culture and contribution,” he said during his visit to the institution.

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Raising the issue of its space constraint, ZSI Director Kailash Chandra said it does “not have enough space to display its entire collections” of over five million specimen and wants some additional space in Kolkata to develop its campus.

“We have given a proposal to the West Bengal government seeking appropriate land of about 20-30 acre for setting up a ZSI campus,” Kailash Chandra told IANS.

Asked whether the Central government will take up the issue with the state government, Harsh Vardhan told IANS: “I have suggested them if they require more space, they should raise the request. If they send it to me, I will take it up. If it is related to the state government, we can always request (the state).”

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The ZSI Director also raised the issue of nearly 50 per cent of posts in the institution being vacant.

Responding to this, the minister said: “I have asked them to expedite the process to fill up the vacancies.”

Harsh Vardhan urged the scientific community to come out from the “routine mode” to “proactive, dynamic or out-of-box mode” to achieve more success.

“It only requires application of mind,” he said, adding that “some extraordinary ideas and visions” are needed to introduce with an objective to make it world’s best institution in future.

“We must always be striving to be the top most,” he added.

–IANS

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