Search on for land for AMU centre

Staff Reporter

Pressure on government to speed up process

IUML MLAs to hold agitation in front of collectorate

‘Land acquisition will not displace any family’

MALAPPURAM: The search for land for an off-campus centre of Aligarh Muslim University in Malappuram district has begun in earnest, with several parties and organisations pressuring the State government to speed up the process.

The Indian Union Muslim League’s MLAs from the district will hold an agitation in front of the Collectorate on Wednesday, demanding 100 hectares of land in the Panakkad Industrial Park and revoking its selection for Infrastructures Kerala Ltd.

Government officials, led by District Collector M.C. Mohandas, examined 160 hectares of land, 6 km from Perinthalmanna town, on Tuesday.

The hilltop land is spread across the Anamangadu, Elamkulam and Pathayikkara villages. Nearly 80 hectares of the land is in Anamangadu, Mr. Mohandas said.

V. Sasikumar, MLA, who accompanied the officials, said the land was hardly a kilometre and a half from the Cherukara railway station on the Nilambur-Shoranur rail route.

Revenue officials said the owners of the land should be identified. The government had given some portions of it to the landless.

“The advantage of this land is that acquisition of it will not displace any family,” Mr. Mohandas said.

The government had suggested the land at Panakkad, but later said it was for Infrastructures Kerala Ltd.

The off-campus centre is expected to go a long way in addressing the social and educational backwardness and exclusion of the minorities pinpointed by the Sachar Committee Report.

The university will open off-campus centres also in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Pune (Maharashtra), Murshidabad (West Bengal), and Katihar (Bihar) in response to the report.

Even when a dispute is raging in the State over land, the project continues to be in limbo with the Planning Commission yet to sanction funds.

Each centre is estimated at Rs.400 crore, taking the outlay to Rs.2,000 crore.

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