During the summer of 1959, the Government of India decided to start eight Regional Engineering Colleges in the country and offered it to the various states in the country, as a joint Centre/State effort. The Andhra Pradesh government immediately responded, undertaking to start the institution commencing from the imminent academic year. The State Government’s efforts were fully supported by Shree. Ettikala Madhusudhan Rao, the then Member of Parliament from Warangal constituency.
They allotted 250 acres of land for the purpose in Warangal, near Kazipet Railway Station. The Board of Governors was constituted. Representatives from the relevant ministries/departments of the Central Government, State Government and Osmania University were nominated to the board. Dr. D. S. Reddy, the then Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, was made the Chairman of the Board of Governors.
Village wakes up:
Sudden influx of so many students and attendant infrastructure took the villagers by surprise. The sleepy railway station of Kazipet junction woke up early to a new clientele by offering steaming hot meals at its canteen. Rickshaw pullers were a friendly lot and often would smile and take us home without bargaining. An old practice missed often now.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru – Foundation Stone
On 10th October 1959, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,the first Prime Minister of our country, laid the foundation stone of the college building at the campus site near Kazipet. For the first time ever, an aircraft brought the Prime Minister to Kazipet for this Special function. We understand that no aircraft has ever landed since, in Kazipet. A11 ground support equipment was hauled by road from Hyderabad airport.
All of us, staff and students assembled at the Kazipet campus. The dais was covered. The function was held during the late morning hours. All of us braved the blazing sun without noticing it, since it was a momentous occasion.
Photographer got rich:
Panditji was spotted soon as aircraft door opened. There was a loud cheer from students and crowd of villagers assembled. The wait got longer and Panditji kept waving at us for many more moments. The Step ladder was jammed and it took some time for engineers to repair the same and align it to the aircraft. The local photographer took photos at peace.
He sold many more copies and became richer. Thanks to Indian Airlines.
To be continued…
This article is the first in a series of many, compiled by RECW’s 1964 batch for the Coffee Table Book, published in 2014. We thank Mr. S. Sampath Iyengar and his team (Batch of 1964) for giving us permission to share this with the NITW community. We also thank Professor CSRK Prasad for helping us make this happen.