Hectic parleys to locate IIM site at Sambalpur

Acting swiftly on the five-point poser of the central government on facilities at Sambalpur for locating Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in the district, the state government on Sunday sent a team led by director of technical education and training, Bishnu Prasad Sahoo, to the western Odisha city to prepare its response.

During his two-day visit, Sahoo said he would hold discussions with the district administration on Monday to provide inputs to the state government for replying to the queries of ministry of human resources development in New Delhi on June 5.

“My visit to Sambalpur is an exercise to prepare a report on the HRD ministry’s queries. I visited the identified sites for a permanent campus and also assessed the possible temporary locations,” he said.

Sahoo said three campuses, the Sambalpur University Institute of Technology, Rengali Polytechnic and Maneswar ITI were identified as possible temporary locations depending on choice of permanent sites by the Centre at Goshala, Rengali or Jujomora respectively.

The government has earlier identified land at Brahmanipali village in Rengali block, Basantpur near Goshala in Dhankauda block and Neeldungri area under the Jujomura block.

Additional district magistrate Jyoti Kumar Lakra a meeting on the location for the permanent and temporary campus for the institute will be held at the office of the revenue divisional commissioner northern division on Monday.

The HRD ministry has sought clarifications from the state on details of infrastructure at Sambalpur, iconic business houses in the city, mega industrial units close to the proposed IIM and the details about the economic activities in and around Sambalpur besides possible job avenues for family members of the IIM staff.

The state government is in tizzy after the HRD ministry’s latest missive, which came three days after technical education secretary Asit Tripathy wrote it about state’s preparedness to locate the institute in Sambalpur and a request to start admission this academic session from a temporary location in the western Odisha city on May 25.

Before Tripathy’s letter, the HRD ministry had warned the state government that admissions to IIM in Odisha will not happen unless it identifies permanent site.

Shailendra Kumar, director (management) of HRD ministry had written a letter to the state technical education department that if a permanent site has not been decided in clear unequivocal terms, the academic session may not be started from 2015-16.

The state government is showing urgency because any delay in its response may result in no admission for the premier institution this academic year.

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