After Union finance minister Arun Jaitley announced an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for Punjab in the general budget, the Amritsar district administration has shortlisted two sites for the ambitious project and sent its proposal to the Centre for approval.
The administration has shortlisted two plots of 200 acres each at Sheron Bagga village near Baba Bakala and Awaan village near Ajnala.
However, both these sites are quite far from Amritsar city. High rates of property in and around the city are seen as a reason behind the selection.
The state government had to provide land for this project and finding 200 acres in the city was an uphill task. Had they even found such chunk of land within the city, its cost would have been prohibitive.
Now, a team from the central government is expected to visit Amritsar soon to finalise the site. The team will be visiting both Awaan and Sheron Baaga, which are both around 35 km from Amritsar.
Confirming this, Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat said, "Ever since Jaitley announced IIM for Amritsar, we were on job to find a suitable land as the Government of India had asked us to provide 200 acres of land for the project. Firstly, eight sites were shortlisted and after further zeroing on them, we selected two sites in Awan and Sheron Bagga villages. The proposal has been sent to the Punjab government which will further forward it to Centre."
The DC said that the shortlisted chunks of land in Sheron Bagga and Awaan belong to village panchayats whose consent has already been taken in this regard.
Awaan seems to be more suitable of the two, as it has better connectivity and approach roads. The Central team is expected to visit in a month's time to choose the final place.
Sources claimed that the administration had even approached the Guru Nanak Dev University for land for the project, but the latter did not agree to it.