Ranchi, Dec. 1: The state government has promised a fresh plot in Namkum to IIM-Ranchi for setting up its campus, acceding to a plea for alternative land after defiant villagers compelled the B-school authorities to virtually abort its earlier bid in Nagri.
IIM-Ranchi director M.J. Xavier, who had last month said he would not pursue construction of the proposed 76-acre campus in Nagri in view of violent protests, told The Telegraph he had already inspected the new site in Rajaulatu mouza of Namkum circle a couple of days ago.
The 200-acre plot, close to an existing power grid, is situated 15km from the state capital along NH-33. The land, which has been chosen after much thought, notably comprises only gair mazrua (government-owned) and jungle-jhari (forest) land and lacks any habitation.
“Hopefully, this time we should not face any problem in getting the land, as it belongs to the government and has no (human) settlements,” said Xavier, hinting that IIM-R would scrap the Nagri project if it obtains the Namkum plot.
The upcoming ring road is also nearby, around 3km from the site, while Birsa Munda Airport is located 15km away. Around 2-3km approach road has to be built for easy access to the site, sources said.
Xavier maintained that the government had been always supportive of setting up permanent premises of the premier management institute, along with campuses of IIIT and National University for Study and Research in Law, in Nagri.
However, resistance by villagers who have staked claim on the 227-acre land in Nagri had prevented any significant progress, he added.
Government sources said chief minister Arjun Munda and chief secretary S.K. Choudhary directed the revenue and land reforms department last month to look for an alternative plot for IIM-R amid mounting resistance by Nagri villagers.
The department asked Ranchi deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey to find a suitable plot, which was not too far from the capital.
Sources in the Ranchi district administration said the authorities were planning to prepare a proposal seeking transfer of the portion of forestland in the Namkum plot. The Union ministry of environment and forests has to clear the transfer of jungle-jhari land for educational purposes.
Xavier said he met chairman of IIM-R’s board of governors R.C. Bhargava recently.
“The chairman is also concerned about obtaining land for a permanent IIM-Ranchi campus. We will take a final approval from the board and also from the Union HRD ministry once we receive a formal proposal regarding the new plot from the state government,” he said, adding members of IIM-R’s board might soon inspect the site.
IIM-Ranchi, which now functions from Suchana Bhavan in the capital, had sought around 200 acre for setting up a campus and resource centre for government projects before it was allotted the land in Nagri last year in August.
Construction on the proposed campus in Nagri was stalled after a portion of a boundary wall was demolished by protesters on July 4, with the firm entrusted with the task allegedly leaving due to police inaction.
The subsequent uncertainty over a permanent campus in Ranchi even prompted Bihar to offer land to the B-school. Asked if IIM-Ranchi could be accommodated in Patna, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said his government would be ready to scout for land if the institute decided to move out of Jharkhand.
But IIM-Ranchi director has categorically denied any such move on their part.