No violations in land allotments for RG IT Habitat: Official

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Panaji, Dec 1 (UNI) Pooh-poohing allegations of malpractices in land allotment for Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat at Dona Paula Plataeu, the state-owned Info Tech Corporation of Goa (ITG) today maintained that all norms were observed by the Government before finalising the project meant for benefitting 12,000 Goan youth.

Interacting with media persons, amid opposition's demand for a CBI probe into land allotments, Corporation's Managing Director S R Shet and project's Chief Manager Anil Walavalkar said that the land earmarked for the beneficiaries should be utilised for the Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled services alone.

The Government had powers to review the 99-year lease agreement if it notices any violations. The real estate developers, who were alloted land, should handover the structures they build for the IT industry alone, but not use it for real estate business, they said.

The project would get separate water and power connection even as they had to have their co-generation power plants of their own, while paying for common facilities like the e-waste disposal and garbage, they added.

The 1,80 lakh square metre prime land was allotted to 18 different beneficiaries at the market price of Rs 4,600 per square metre, including Rs 1,500 additional cost of infrastructure as decided by the Council of Ministers on July 28, 2006.

The Government had also earmarked additional land for raising residential houses for employees, a shopping mall, guest houses, food courts, banks and incubation centre besides, cinema hall around the Habitat.

The project, they said, was originally mooted in 1999 and whetted by NASSCOM. The beneficiaries would be given some incentives only if they employed Goans.

Goa churns out as many as 3,000 engineering and technical graduates, 7,000 graduates of other disciplines and 12,000 to 13,000 undergraduates every year.

It might be recalled that IT and Finance Minister Dayanand Narvekar had cut short his visit to China yesterday and explained to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat the salient points of the project amid reports of the opposition's demand for a CBI probe into land allotments and violations related to land use.

The foundation stone for the project was laid by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on February 23, 2006 amid much fanfare and civil works were in progress.


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