IIT in Goa again faces opposition; CM asks people to shun negativity


PANAJI: Reacting to growing opposition to Indian Institute of Technology Goa (IIT Goa) project in Sanguem constituency of South Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that people should shun negativity.
“Some have a habit of opposing projects unnecessarily. It is government land. There are some encroachers in that land. We will make a survey in detail. People should come out of a negative mindset,” Sawant said.
“We need to give land to IIT, it should come in reality. We will not do injustice on people, if anyone has the right as a tenant then they can submit documents to the collector,” Sawant further said.
He said that a survey of the proposed land for the IIT Project is taking place. “Technical team of IIT will come here, they will inspect it and once they give a “okay” for it, only then work will proceed,” he said.
Started in July 2016, IIT Goa campus is temporarily housed in Goa Engineering College (GEC) in Ponda.
While committed 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 same is identified in Sanguem in South Goa. Here too, some people claiming themselves as 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.
Speaking over the issue, Sanguem MLA and Minister Subhash Phal Desai said that people are confused and misinformed about the project.
“Protesters are instigated (by someone), if anyone has land in a demarcated area, then they should tell. We will convince people and the issue will be sorted,” Phal Dessai said.
“Those who are instigating people, they are personally not coming at the site to oppose, but we know from where the vehicles come to protest,” he said.
“The area which protesters are claiming (as their land) doesn’t come under the IIT. They have been misinformed. Instead of fighting with the government, come to us and take the package benefitting you. If they fight, the government will ask to prove their ownership, then what they will get in litigation,” he questioned.
“I will not back out. This project has potential and will provide jobs to youths. People will get business. We will take people into confidence,” he said.
Chief Minister Sawant on two occasions had reiterated that a permanent campus of IIT will come up at Sanguem in South Goa.
“Since last four years of my tenure as Chief Minister, we have been trying for IIT project at various places. One thing is definite that after we identified the place at Sanguem, and the way local MLA Subhash Phal Desai took initiative and showed positivity, the IIT project will come into reality here,” Sawant had said.
According to Sawant, 7 lakh square meter land is being demarcated for IIT Project, which is government land and hence there will be no hindrance to hand over land to IIT.
“I know that it is a long pending issue of IIT Campus. It is a long story. All of you know it is always getting published in the newspaper, we have given places in Canacona, Sanguem, Sattari. Every time a problem comes up (going ahead with a project). This time I am not promising you anything, but I am telling you the one thing ‘sure shot’ we are giving you permanent campus within a short span of time,” Sawant had said during convocation of IIT.

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