Margao: Minister of Social Affairs and MP for Sanguem, Subhash Phal Dessai, on Sunday made a determined pitch for the establishment of the IIT campus in Sanguem as he carried a dream for the Sangekars of catapult the underappreciated and underdeveloped Sanguem onto the path to world-class academic excellence. .
“This is the project that aims to develop Sanguem and improve the standard of living of the Sangekars. Until when will we continue to say that Sanguem is underdeveloped and therefore unhappy? The IIT project has come to Sanguem again, let’s salute it,” Phal Dessai said during a public meeting convened to discuss the proposed project to be set up on a 7.5 lakh sq.m government-owned land bordering Sanguem and Cacora.
Prior to the meeting, Phal Dessai interacted with people who claimed parts of the proposed land as occupiers. While he sought to assure them of adequate compensation from the government, he also promised to protect the interests of land-dependent “invaders”. The arguments continued as several people began to question the solemnity of his assurances. Phal Dessai then upped the ante and defused the argument with a seemingly irresistible offer: “If the government fails to settle your claims, I will personally compensate you for the land. I will buy land with my money and give it to you as compensation through a legal transfer deed.
Later in the meeting, his wife, Shubha, publicly pledged her support for her husband’s commitment.
Neha Karanjkar and Rajesh Prabhu Gaonkar, faculty members of IIT Goa, told people how the proposed IIT campus in their locality will help the local economy to grow and provide many job opportunities for young people, besides to create an entire educational ecosystem.
“Sanguem will be on the global map once the IIT tag is attached to it, just like he did for Powai in Mumbai after IIT arrived there. Don’t miss this golden opportunity,” Karanjkar said.
Gaonkar pointed out that IIT campuses across the country are known for their well-maintained green cover and natural environment, and expressed confidence that IIT-Sanguem campus, when this happens, will not exception to this.
Registrar V Venkat Rao, besides faculty members from IIT Goa, Sharad Sinha and Anirudha Ambekar were among those present.
Bringing an emotional touch to the proposal, former Sanguem MLA Vasudev Meg Gaonkar invoked the memory of Manohar Parrikar whose dream, he said, was to have IIT in Sanguem. “Sanguem was Manoharbhai’s favorite constituency, and he told me about his dream of IIT in Sanguem when I called him while he was struggling with death.”
As the voices in favor of the project began to rise at the meeting, the murmur of protest that had been heard at the start died away towards the end. Phal Dessai warned opposition forces outside Sanguem, including NGOs, against any obstacles. “The IIT will take place in Sanguem, and we have strong leadership in CM Pramod Sawant supporting it.”