HRD team to inspect alternative land for IIT

 The state government’s move to change the allotment of land for establishing the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Dharwad may prove to be a setback for the process of setting up the premier institution in the region.

The government had earlier proposed 507 acres of land adjacent to Pune-Bengaluru National Highway near Mummigatti, 10 km from Dharwad. The technical team from the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development which had visited Dharwad among other places for inspection of sites and other facilities offered, had recommended Dharwad as the location for IIT. The HRD ministry had accepted the recommendations and announced that the IIT would come up in Dharwad.

Even as the preparations for transit campus are on, the government has now sent another proposal allotting 478 acres of land near Chikkamalligawad, 1.5 km away from the land proposed earlier.

A four-member team headed by Union HRD Ministry Additional Secretary S Subrahmanyam will visit Dharwad on Thursday (May 19) to inspect the alternative land and other facilities offered by the government. Though the officials claimed that the change in land is because there were some legal hurdles in allotting the 507 acres of land near Mummigatti, highly placed sources said it was at the behest of Major Industries Minister R V Deshpande that the change in allotment of land was being made.

The sources said that during the Global Investors’ Meet held at Bengaluru, Deshpande had allotted the land meant for the IIT to some private company for setting up an industrial unit. “Since the land was already given to another company, it had become imperative to look for an alternative land for the IIT,” the sources said.

Now, the question is whether the visiting experts’ team agrees to the fresh proposal. If it raises objections, the process to set up the IIT will suffer a setback. If the proposal is accepted, things will move smoothly.

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