IIT for Palakkad, Chandy assures MPs
Ending speculations that Palakkad may lose out in the race to set up the campus of the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) allotted to Kerala because of hectic lobbying from Kozhikode district, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has promised the Lok Sabha members from the district that the IIT would be established in Palakkad as decided earlier.
M.B. Rajesh, MP, told The Hindu that he and Alathur MP P.K. Biju had met the Chief Minister the other day and got the assurance that the IIT would not be shifted to Kozhikode. The MPs told Mr. Chandy that there was a broad political consensus to set up the IIT in Palakkad even when V.S. Achuthanandan was the Chief Minister.
The district administration had identified 600 acres of land at Pudussery, on the outskirts of the town, to establish the institute. Both the Central and State governments favoured the setting up of the IIT in Palakkad, in view of its strategic location in the middle of the State and its proximity to Coimbatore.
While Palakkad and Shoranur Junctions will offer good rail connectivity, the Coimbatore Airport will provide air link. Located close to the Coimbatore-Palakkad stretch of National Highway 47, the proposed location is easily accessible by road from Bangalore, Chennai, and Kochi.
The efforts to set up an IIT in Palakkad began when V.S. Achuthanandan was the Chief Minister. Former Union Minister of State for Human Resources Shashi Tharoor and Mr. Rajesh had taken active interest in making it a reality.
Mr. Rajesh said that the Chief Minister had promised that the preliminary work on the institution would begin once the decision to set up the IIT was officially conveyed by the Union government to the State authorities.