Panaji, Sep 27 (IANS): After the land identified for Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT) in Sanguem South district was rejected by the site selection committee, the Goa government has finalised another land in the area, said local MLA.
Sanguem MLA and Minister for Archives and Archaeology, Subhash Phaldesai on Tuesday said that it is not because of locals' objection, but as the IIT site selection committee rejected the land, they have finalised another area for the project.
"Process is almost at its final stage. We are working on it. Once selection of land is done at any point of time it will be declared officially," he said.
Clarifying on earlier proposed land, Phaldesai said that land which was proposed was not sufficient as it was non -development slope. "It was a mountain. It is not because people have objected… The IIT site selection committee rejected it because land was not sufficient. Now we have identified 10 lakhs sq mtr area. Land finalization has been done. Government will go ahead with it," he said.
Earlier on many occasions, while facing opposition from locals, Phaldesai had said that the government had not dropped the plan to set up a permanent campus of IIT in his constituency Sanguem. He had also said that the IIT-Goa project in Sanguem may create 2,000 employment opportunities which would benefit the local youth.
Locals had opposed the project stating it will destroy the environment. They were protesting against the IIT project stating they will not allow the government to take away their cultivable land.
Set up in July 2016, the IIT Goa campus is temporarily housed in Goa Engineering College(GEC) in Ponda-South district. While working towards making Goa an educational hub, the government also faced agitation while providing land to such a big educational project.
When land for the IIT project was identified in Shel-Melauli in Sattari taluka of North Goa, the affected people agitated saying it would destroy the environment.
Bowing down to people’s pressure, it was cancelled and now land for the project is identified twice, in different locations, in Sanguem Previously it was also cancelled in Canacona, in South Goa, on account of protest.