In a bizarre situation, presumably due to ongoing Hindutva wave in India, Goa residents preferred Temple to Indian Institute of Technology.
Last month, the Goa government had formally transferred 10 lakh sq. mts of land in and around Guleli village in North Goa, for setting up IIT-Goa. Villagers from Guleli and other adjoining villages have however opposed the project.
Since the IIT was allotted to Goa by the central government in 2014, the institute has been functioning from a temporary campus shared by the Goa Engineering College in Farmagudi village in South Goa.
Two sites previously identified by the state government in Canacona and Sanguem sub districts for setting up a permanent campus for the IIT were dropped in the face of protests from local residents and after pressure from the Opposition, which had alleged a land scam in the shortlisting of sites for the technology institute.
Succumbing to protests of local villagers who want a temple instead of an IIT, the Goa cabinet on Wednesday resolved to revert 45,000 sq. mts of land identified for the upcoming IIT-Goa campus project, to an existing temple.
Addressing a press conference, after a meeting of the state cabinet, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that another plot of land of the same size in the same area has been identified to be handed over to the IIT as compensation.
“45,000 sq. mts land has been reverted back to the temple and for carrying out religious activities. Another parcel of 45,000 mts land from the same area will be given to the IIT. This should help assuage the feelings of the local residents who are protesting,” Sawant told reporters, adding that the temple is currently located on government premises.