Goa Govt Cancels Plans for IIT Goa Campus in Loliem After Residents Protest

Reported by

Nihar GokhaleLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

August 5, 2021

Location of Conflict

Loliem

South Goa

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Education

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

5000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

121

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Goa

Sector

Infrastructure

The first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Goa was announced in May 2016 after the Centre alloted the autonomous institute to the state in 2014. A 300acre permanent campus was proposed at Loliem village under the LoliemPollem panchayat in South Goa. A committee formed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) selected the site. The proposed site falls in an uninhabited laterite plateau, which is partly covered by a forest and partly used by farmers for monsoon cultivation, cashew plantations, grazing and also as a sacred site. The settlements in Loliem are on the slopes of the periphery plateau, which is also a principal source of water for the village. The porous laterite absorbs rainwater, lets it out in springs and recharges aquifers. The residents of Loliem came together under the banner of Citizens Committee of Loliem to oppose the IIT, saying that it threatens their water and livelihood security as well as their cultural rights. They also wanted to preserve the forested parts of the plateau, which share their borders with the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and Anshi Tiger Reserve. Both the Madhav Gadgil and K. Kasturirangan Committees on Western Ghats had recommended the plateau to be notified as an ecosensitive zone. However, the land falls under the Comunidade of Loliem a system dating back from before the Portuguese where a committee of native inhabitants of the village collectively own land and decide how it is put to use. The members also share the generated revenue, if any. A communidade, however, is not representative of all the residents of a village. In February 2016, the Comunidade gave its consent to transfer the land to the state government for setting up the IIT. In the same month, the Goa government moved an amendment to the Goa Legislative Diploma No. 2070, which consists of the rules of Comunidades, to officially allow the Comunidade of Loliem to "grant" land to the state government for premier educational institutes of national importance without auction. This amendment enabled the government to get possession of the land, following which the campus was proposed in May. Loliem residents wrote letters to the HRD ministry and the state government asking for the relocation of the IIT. In October 2016, they managed to pass a gram sabha (village assembly) resolution banning any nontraditional use of the plateau land. In November that year, a special gram sabha was called under heavy police presence to take a vote on the IIT. About 2,000 people had gathered to participate, but the hearing was abruptly adjourned by the sarpanch (village assembly head), who was in favour of the project and is a member of the Comunidade of Loliem. A commotion followed the adjournment and several villagers tried to block the sarpanch's vehicle from leaving the site. The sarpanch later filed a police complaint against eight persons on charges of rioting, wrongful restraint and assault. In June 2017, when the panchayat polls were due and the establishment of the IIT had become a decisive issue, then Chief Minister (now deceased) Manohar Parrikar announced to shift the IIT campus to another location. An alternative site was proposed in Sanguem tehsil and in Nagvem village of Quepem tehsil in South Goa, providing relief to the residents of Loliem. Since 2016, the IIT has been functioning from a temporary campus shared with the Goa Engineering College in Farmagudi village in South Goa.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation, Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

10

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

Yes

When did it end?

June 2017

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

In November 2016, residents of Loliem tried to block the sarpanch's vehicle during a public hearing. The sarpanch later filed a police complaint against eight villagers on charges of rioting, wrongful restraint and assault.

Date of Violation

November 27, 2016

Location of Violation

Loliem

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches, Objections as part of official procedures

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

State department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
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Documented By

Nihar Gokhale

Reviewed By

Nihar Gokhale

Updated By

Nihar Gokhale

Edited By

Nihar GokhaleLand Conflict Watch
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