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Land bailout for tech cradle
- Namkum plots for IIM, IIIT

Ranchi, Dec. 14: Namkum, on the outskirts of Ranchi, is emerging as a one-stop destination for the district administration, desperately searching for land to set up permanent campuses for three national cradles, including IIM-Ranchi and IIIT.

The B-school has already agreed to abandon plans of setting up its home at Nagri and move to Namkum in view of local opposition fuelled by long-standing discrepancies in the manner in which the state government acquired land there.

Now, Indian Institute of Information Technology will also follow suit and come up at Rajaulatu mouza in Namkum circle, about 15km from Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Airport.

Deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey, accompanied by officials and representatives of the cradle, did a final survey of the area early this morning and put his stamp of approval on the plot for the tech cradle.

“We could finally find a spot to accommodate both the cradles near the city after much brainstorming. Over the last few days, I scanned almost the entire city and adjacent localities. I am happy that we could finally zero in on this space which is mutually agreeable to all parties,” Choubey said, sounding relieved.

Choubey said he would now forward a formal proposal to the state government asking it allow the campuses, both IIM-R and IIIT, to come up in the chosen plots in the Namkum area, which is close to a power grid along NH-33.

IIM sought 200 acres for its campus, but the district administration would request the B-school to make do with around 150 acres. “I think that will be sufficient at present as we will also have to accommodate IIIT,” he said.

IIIT, he added, would require anywhere between 50 and 100 acres. “I have done some changes in the plan and layout submitted to me. It will need some fine-tuning now. This apart, sufficient land will be provided to both the cradles in order to develop a 100-feet wide road as an approach road connecting with the ring road,” said the DC.

The transfer of land to the institutes would now depend on how fast the district administration’s proposal reaches the state government.

Choubey maintained it was a priority. “Enough of deadlock. It’s time for some positive work. I am personally working on this and things are on the right track,” he said.

Choubey’s optimism about Namkum was based on the simple fact that the plots chosen belonged to the government and were not forestland. “There will be no issues about getting forest clearances from the Centre,” he said.

The state government had identified 227 acres in Nagri, some 15km from the state capital, to set up permanent campuses for IIM-R, IIIT and National University for Study and Research in Law (NUSRL).

Though construction of the IIM-R and NUSRL campuses began this January, Nagri villagers, who staked claim on the 227-acre area, disrupted work repeatedly.

Days after villagers demolished the IIM-R boundary wall on July 4, Jharkhand High Court ruled out the return of the disputed land, which the state claimed to have acquired in 1957-58 in accordance with the law.

The high court, on October 31, also directed the state to deploy additional forces to ensure construction of NUSRL’s boundary wall. A day later, the wall was damaged by protesting villagers.