BJP MLA drums up support for IIT in Belgaum
ArunFirst Published : 21 Jul 2009 03:46:00 AM ISTLast Updated :
BANGALORE: Union Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Veerappa Moily may want to express gratitude to his voters of Chikballapur parliamentary constituency by establishing an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) there.
But the legislators in Karnataka, cutting across party lines, have a different desire.
They want the new IIT to be established in Belgaum, the second capital of Karnataka. They have already begun lobbying to have the IIT in the foundry city and have roped in even parliamentarians from Maharashtra and Goa for support.
Abhay Kumar Patil, MLA from Belgaum South Assembly segment, has already obtained signatures of 126 MLAs and 12 ministers from Karnataka.
Eight MPs from Maharashtra and two MPs from Goa have already promised support for the cause.
Patil, who has already hosted three meetings in Belgaum in this regard, is involving retired and working scientists, professors and heads of all educational institutions, including VTU, in addition to the people’s representatives in his efforts.
Next week, a delegation of likeminded people will meet Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to apprise him about the necessity of having an IIT in Belgaum and to convince him to take a delegation to Union Minister for Human Resources Kapil Sibal, in this matter next month.
The delegation plans to ask for defence research as one of the subjects to be taught at the planned IIT there, since Belgaum has a defence base and that subject is not taught in any other IIT.
Bangalore is already overcrowded with research institutions.
So it is essential to decentralise the system, it is felt.
Since other major cities Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad already have enough institutions, it is the turn of Belgaum to have an IIT, Patil argues.
Once an IIT is established in Belgaum, it will have all the potential to grow faster, since it will have feeder educational institutions from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa states.
Belgaum is located at the centre for these states.
Belgaum has good connectivity by road, by air, by sea and by rail.
There are seven engineering, two medical and 3,200 other educational institutions in Belgaum district alone.
Patil pointed out that Belgaum was next to Bangalore in exporting goods to other countries.
Automobile spares, garments and aluminium powder from Belgaum are exported to many European countries, he added.
Moreover, there is 2,300 acres of government land available at Suttagatti in Belgaum, out of which 800 acres can be given to the IIT immediately, goes the argument in favour of Belgaum.