A high-profile plastics university being built in India is losing a small part of its campus to the country's first high-speed rail line, but the long-delayed school is pushing ahead, according to a key backer.
The Plastindia International University, which has a curriculum development partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, is losing 5 acres of its 35-acre campus to a bullet train line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, according to Arvind Mehta, PIU's immediate past president.
Mehta said PIU's plans called for one or two buildings on those 5 acres, but design changes can be made.
The government of Gujarat state is providing "good financial terms" of compensation to the school, said Mehta, a longtime leader of India's plastics trade groups and executive in the country's masterbatch industry.
"The project may take a little more time and may be delayed," Mehta said, noting that PIU and industry officials have told Gujarat officials they had been targeting a March startup.
The $30 million project was launched in 2012 at a ceremony at the Plastindia trade show in New Delhi, attended by officials from plastics programs at U-Mass Lowell and the University of Wisconsin.
At the time, industry officials said they hoped the first phase of the campus in the city of Vapi would open in 2014 or 2015, but the project has run into challenges.
Lowell signed a formal agreement with PIU in 2016, and a 2018 statement from the Massachusetts university said they had hoped to start undergraduate courses at PIU in fall 2019 and eventually educate 1,200 students a year.