PANAJI: Sanguem MLA Subhash Phaldesai today said that land measuring 10 lakh sq meters is in final stages of acquisition for setting up Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus at Sanguem.
“Land measuring 10 lakh sq meters is in final stages of acquisition for setting up Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus at Sanguem,’ said Phaldesai
He further said that an official announcement will be made on the same by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
Over the past seven years, the Goa government has made several attempts to identify a sizeable parcel of land to set up the permanent campus for the IIT- Goa, which currently operates from a campus at Farmagudi that it shares with the State-run Goa Engineering College.
However, every attempt was met with stiff opposition from villagers, who stood to lose their agricultural, pastoral or forest land, and fought tooth and nail to retain their lands.
Locals from the Sanguem have opposed the project stating it will destroy the environment. They are protesting against the IIT project saying that they will not allow the government to take away their cultivable land. Some environmentalists have also joined the agitation.
Set up in July 2016, the IIT Goa campus is temporarily housed in Goa Engineering College(GEC) in Ponda.
While working towards making Goa an educational hub, the government also faced a problem when providing land to such a big educational project. When land for the IIT project was identified in Shell-Melalui 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 same is identified in Sanguem in South Goa. Here too, some people claiming farmers have opposed the project, but authorities have started the demarcation process.
Previously, it was also cancelled in Canacona, in South Goa, on account of protest.
Recently, Minister Dessai had said that the IIT-Goa project in Sanguem may create 2,000 employment opportunities which would benefit the local youth.
“This project would help to develop this area with due care to a sustainable environment. There is a possibility of the creation of 2,000 employment opportunities which would benefit local youth,” he had said.