Land factor is why Raichur didn't land IIT

Selection panel found no site proposed by dist admin suitable

The inability of the district administration to identify a suitable site for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has cost dear for Raicahur. The prestigious institute is likely to come up in Dharwad.

Despite a strong recommendation by the D M Nanjundappa Committee on Redressal of Regional Imbalance and a decision by the then Cabinet of Jagadish Shettar in favour of an IIT in the city, Raichur has missed the bus.

The IIT site selection committee outrightly rejected Raichur as the location for want of a suitable site.

“Since a suitable site for locating the permanent campus (for IIT) could not be shown (by the Deputy Commissioner), we are not recommending to locate the IIT in Raichur,” the committee said emphatically. However, the committee has found a strong case for locating premier educational institutions in this backward area.

Deccan Herald has exclusive access to the report of the site selection committee which could not be accessed even by the State government.

Higher Education Minister T B Jayachandra, in a written reply to Amarnath Patil in the Legislative Council on November 19, 2015, had stated that “the central government had not shared the report of the site selection committee with the State government.”

The five-member committee with Additional Secretary (Technical Education), Union Ministry of Human Resources Development as convenor and consisting of Bharat Lal Meena, the Principal Secretary to the State Higher Education department, Prof Devang V Khakhar, director of IIT, Bombay (mentor director for IIT, Karnataka), director of IIT, Gandhinagar and Ravi Kant Soni, CPWD Chief Engineer, Karnataka (both members), has made a unanimous recommendation against setting up the IIT in Raichur.

The committee has expressed dissatisfaction over the three sites shown by the Raichur DC. The DC had showed 688 acres of land in Yegnoor and Yermarus villages to the committee. Out of that, 312 acres was under government possession and that has been acquired for the airport project. The balance 376 acres is yet to be acquired.

Even the land in government possession is in the shape of a cross with inadequate measurements for constructing the IIT. The committee said it was clearly unsuitable.

The DC proposed another 6,000 acres at Kurubdoddi village. Since it was not acquired, the committee did not inspect it for suitability. The Gulbarga University PG centre, with 250 acres of land, was the third site proposed. That was also found not suitable because it was “far from the town and farther from the airport/railway facilities.”

“On the whole, no satisfactory site has emerged for locating the permanent campus,” the committee remarked. In the absence of a suitable site for the permanent campus, the committee did not find it necessary to identify a temporary campus for the IIT. The committee was shown the Agriculture University campus which was found suitable for temporarily housing the IIT.

But, the main issue was the permanent campus for which no suitable land was shown by the district administration. This ultimately resulted in Raichur being denied the IIT.

Air connectivity

Another factor which went against Raichur is the lack of air connectivity and it was found to be the ‘main disadvantage’ by the committee.

The nearest airport is Hyderabad, a three-hour drive from the city. This does not augur well for an IIT. However, the road connectivity was found reasonable.

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