SOIRU VELIP | NT
At least seven sites have been suggested for setting up the IIT project, which has been moved out of Melauli village of Sattari taluka after villagers there strongly opposed it.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday announced shifting of the prestigious education project from Shel-Melauli village after strong opposition to the project from villagers and local MLA Vishwajit Rane, who is also Health Minister.
Sawant also said the government would try to identify a new site soon for the IIT campus.
The Chief Minister was forced to take the decision after Rane wrote a letter to him seeking shifting of the project from Sattari.
Several sites have been suggested by some politicians, NGOs and social activists for the beleaguered project. Power Minister Nilesh Cabral has said that people will welcome the IIT campus project if the government decides to set it up in the border areas of Curchorem and Sanguem constituencies, where it was initially proposed.
Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude and Ponda MLA Ravi Naik have also suggested that the campus could be set up in Ponda taluka.
Naik is of the view that the government can consider establishing the campus at Farmagudi or Bhutkhamb in Querim village of Priol constituency.
Senior MGP leader Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar has also favoured Farmagudi as the site for IIT.
Former Panaji MLA Siddharth Kuncolienkar has said the campus can be set up at Taleigao, where IT park was proposed some years ago.
Some NGOs and social activists have in their mind certain tracts of land, where the project can be set up.
Tracts of lands at Dhargal in Pernem taluka, Latambarcem in Bicholim taluka, or Verna, where the land was acquired for special economic zone, have been suggested for setting up the institute.
A tract of land at Naquerim Betul, where the defence expo was organised four years ago, has also been suggested for the project.
Setting up of IIT campus in Goa has been plagued by strong opposition from people since it was allocated to Goa in 2014. The IIT-Goa has been temporarily functioning from the Goa Engineering College at Farmagudi, and the government has not been able to set up a permanent campus for the institute due to opposition by villagers wherever it was proposed.
The government first identified tracts of land for the campus at Loliem in Canacona taluka. However, people there opposed the project forcing the government to move it to Sanguem taluka.
While the process of finalising the Sanguem land was on, the state cabinet in August 2019 decided to shift the project to Melauli village of Sattari taluka.
After villagers opposed the project vehemently, the government decided to move the project out of Melauli.
Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar as also former legislator Subhash Phal Dessai have said that they will welcome IIT in Sanguem if the government decides to set it up.