In a big victory for Goa, the state cabinet on Friday has cleared a proposal for setting up a permanent campus for Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Goa. The Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced the cabinet's decision to hand over 240 acres for the campus at Melaulim-Gulelim in Sattari. The cabinet was previously mulling over three other locations to set up the campus, as per news reports. Reports also say that state authorities had been in the process of acquiring land at Cortali in Sanguem and Nagvem in Quepem Talukas.
"The cabinet has cleared the proposal to set up a campus of IIT-Goa in Guleli village panchayat in North Goa's Sattari district. The campus will be set up over an area 240 acres of revenue land which is owned by the state government," announced Sawant.
The state currently has an IIT, as sanctioned by the Centre in 2014. Currently, IIT-Goa temporarily shares a campus with Goa Engineering College in South Goa's Farmagudi village. Earlier reports say that the state had to scrap its plans on previous sites due to severe protests from local residents. Opposition had reportedly alleged land scams in shortlisting of sites for IIT.
Speaking to reporters, Sawant said, "We had made all efforts to set it up in Sanguem taluka. But some people in Sanguem itself did not allow it to happen. This was despite the land being in possession of the government. They did not give a NOC and also approached the court to block it."
The Union HRD ministry had reportedly set a 31 August deadline to the state for finalising on a permanent campus for IIT-Goa. The state had allegedly been warned that if it failed to do so, India's premier engineering institute would be moved out of the state. Reports state that Former Goa CM had started talks for setting up a 300-acre campus for IIT. Originally, the requirement to set up the campus was of 500 acres. This had been reduced to 300 acres, taking into account the state's land constraints.