In Goa, BJP-led govt diverts IIT land for temple construction

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The state government in Goa has marked and diverted a land parcel of 45,000 square metres, earlier identified for building an Indian Institute of Technology, for religious activity in an attempt to pacify the villagers who have objected to the construction of the campus amidst their village, reported the Indian Express.

Of the proposed 10 lakh square metres for building an IIT campus, the Goa Cabinet on Wednesday diverted 45,000 square metres. The government had in July announced the allocation of land in Guleli for the campus — a Central government initiative yet to take shape with the IIT currently sharing space with the Goa Engineering College in Farmagudi village in South Goa.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Wednesday said, “We have identified 45,000 sq mts land for religious activity. They will be diverted and taken off the final plan… This was done in the interest of the villagers and to pacify them. This is the interest of the villagers.”

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, who is the MLA of the constituency which includes Guleli, said, “The dispute started with the allocation of land for the temple as they have their religious functions there. That has been heeded and it will be marked. There is some religious sentiment attached to it so I hope this measure should solve it. I do not think there will be more resistance to it.”

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