After protests, Goa CM to set up four-member committee to decide new location for IIT campus

The Chief Minister said the state government has decided to shift the project out of Sattari due to the constant opposition from locals
CM Pramod Sawant
CM Pramod Sawant

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday said his government will set up a four-member committee to decide a new location for the construction of the proposed IIT campus in the state, following opposition from locals to the previous site.

Bowing to public pressure, the Goa government last week announced that the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus, which was proposed to set up at Shel-Melaulim village in Sattari taluka of North Goa district, will be shifted to another part of the coastal state. Talking to reporters on Monday, Sawant said the Goa government is all set to establish an IIT campus in the state and has not yet finalised a site for the project.

"We will constitute a four-member committee which will go through various sites available for the proposed IIT campus," he said without divulging any further details." We will see the land options available for the project. We don't want a similar problem to recur when we finalise a new site," he said, referring to protests by residents of the Shel-Melaulim village earlier this month.

Taking a jibe at his opponents, Sawant said those who were ready to sell the state for their own interest are now criticising the present government over its schemes. The CM said his government's 'Swayampoorna Goa' scheme is taking people towards a "self-sufficient lifestyle". The IIT project in Goa has been opposed by the Shel- Melaulim village residents, who are not willing to part with their land for the campus. On Thursday, Sawant held a meeting with sarpanchs (village heads) and zilla panchayat members from Sattari taluka in the presence of state Health Minister and Valpoi MLA Vishwajit Rane.

The Chief Minister later said the state government has decided to shift the project out of Sattari due to the constant opposition from locals. The project was planned from the perspective of development, but the state government could not convince locals, he had said. Earlier, Rane had also appealed to Sawant to shift the project considering the opposition to it, and urged him to withdraw cases registered against protesters. At least 12 policemen and several locals were injured when they clashed in a forest area near the Shel-Melaulim village earlier this month.

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