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Goa to form panel to identify new IIT campus site: CM

Pramod Sawant

Panaji, Jan 18 (UITV/IANS) Following the relocation of the IIT-Goa campus amid protests, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday announced that his government may soon appoint a committee to identify a new site for setting up of a campus for the elite technology institute.

Speaking to reporters in Margao town, located 35 km from Panaji, Sawant also said the committee would also contain officials from the Indian Institute of Technology and potential new sites would be discussed thoroughly to prevent any faux pas, like the one which occurred in Melaulim village in Sattari sub district.

"We have decided to relocate the IIT from Melaulim in Sattari. However, we have not decided where to shift it yet. The government may form a four to five member committee comprising of educationists, IIT officials and others for verification (of site). We do not want such a problem again," Sawant told reporters.

Goa was allotted an IIT in 2014 and the elite institute has been functioning since from a temporary campus shared by the Goa Engineering College in Farmagudi village, in South Goa.

Last year, the BJP-led coalition government had zeroed down on Melaulim in North Goa, as the site for the campus, after two other potential locations were shot down following popular protests.

However, local residents of Melaulim also erupted in protest against the proposed IIT campus, accusing the Goa government of trying to displace them from their ancestral land tracts. Last week, Sawant announced the relocation of the project from Melaulim, days after the protests turned violent.

Sawant now insists that despite the setback, the Goa government was firm on setting up an IIT in Goa.

"The government is serious about it. The committee will examine location options and the government will then take a final decision after giving it consideration," Sawant said.