Having been forced to abandon plans to set up the IIT Goa at three different sites in as many talukas, the State government has turned its attention to a fourth location and has now reportedly shortlisted land in Rivona-Sanguem.
Social Welfare Minister and Sanguem MLA Subhash Phaldessai had been keen to set up the IIT project in Cotarli-Sanguem, but had to withdraw the plan after IIT authorities rejected the proposed site at Cotarli village as being inadequate since much of the land of the proposed project was not considered suitable for construction work.
Rejection of the Cotarli site had been the third major setback for the State government in its efforts to find land for the IIT Goa, after facing stiff opposition from locals in Loliem-Canacona and Melauli-Sattari.
According to sources, the government has been eyeing farmland spread over five lakh square metres in Rivona, another part of Sanguem.
Much of the land proposed for the project is reportedly in the hands of the local agriculturists who have being cultivating coconut and arecanut plantations at the site. Another portion of land belongs to a private party.
Some of the land is also in possession of mining firms in the area. These lands are owned as mining leases, and it will depend on these mining companies to give the government a go-ahead with the proposed land for the IIT at Rivona-Sanguem.
After farmers had stiffly opposed moves to set up the IIT Goa at Cotarli and had been involved in agitations for over six months, people were informed that the IIT Goa would come up in another part of Sanguem taluka. Questions are being raised as to why the government is hiding the site identified for the IIT Goa from the general public.