After scouting at least five locations-four in the Canacona taluka and one is Pernem -for close on two years, Goa officials finally feel they have found the ideal site for the IIT, Goa, campus. Though sites in Poinguinim and Mashem are still in the running, state officials are keen on a 12 lakh sq m of contiguous land in Loliem to establish the state’s IIT.
The state government has written to the local communidade seeking a no objection certificate from it for the Loliem site to be considered as one of the probable ones to set up the Goa IIT.
Once the NOC is received, the state government will invite the site selection committee of the Union human resource development ministry (HRD) to inspect all shortlisted locations. The site selection committee will also include officials from IIT Bombay, which is set to mentor IIT Goa for the initial years, once it is set up.
Sources said that state officials are likely to build a strong case for the Loliem site. “After a preliminary feasibility review, the Loliem site appears ideal,” a source said.
From the 12 lakh sq m identified, Goa might eventually acquire only 4-5 lakh sq m for the IIT, as the Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar has already clarified that the state will not be able to part with more than this area due to the state’s geographical limitations.
The Union HRD ministry had disallowed Goa from admitting the first batch of students to the IIT for 2015-16 after the state was found to be dragging its heels in identifying land for the permanent campus. Later, Goa’s suggestion of a site at Dhargalim was rejected as patches within the same were not in the state’s possession and would have to be acquired.
But Goa’s dreams of getting its IIT functional got a boost after Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to the six new IITs functioning out of their temporary campus for now.
Goa has identified the Goa Engineering College at Farmagudi as the site for its temporary campus. If the site selection committee finds one of Goa’s suggestions for the new IIT campus suitable, Goa will be able to admit students to the IIT in 2016.