NIT still waiting for state to formalize handover of land

Panaji: Almost six months after the process of land acquisition for the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Goa was said to have reached its final stages, the institute is still waiting for the notification to be issued by the state government that will formalize the handing over of the land to the institute.

Officials said the South Goa collector submitted a final copy of the draft notification, to acquire land for the NIT, to the state government for its approval over six months ago. Around 120 acres of land is set to be provided for the NIT campus at Balli in Cuncolim so that construction work for the required infrastructure can finally begin.

The Goa NIT is functioning from just a single building within the Goa Engineering College campus at Farmagudi since 2010.

Goa failed to fulfill its initial promise of providing land for the NIT’s permanent campus which would ensure that the national institute’s infrastructure would be ready within three years of the institute beginning operations in the state.

Two batches of the institute’s students have already graduated from the temporary campus, amidst lack of facilities including spacious hostels and fully-equipped labs.

The NIT was the first institute of national repute to be allotted by the Union human resource development ministry to Goa. But it found itself embroiled in a bitter struggle for land for its permanent campus with the state government from the start. First, the then Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar refused to allot land until an assurance of fify percent reserved seats for Goans at the NIT was formalized. But even after the demand was granted, the land requirement was cut down from its original 300 acres to less than half under Parrikar’s guidance.

The Union HRD ministry also has had to write several letters of warning to the state in the past to expedite the process of land allotment to the NIT.