The proposed Indian Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IIPE) is now geared up for its foundation laying by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at the sea-side village Sabbavaram, scheduled on October 20.

It is the fourth university in the country offering specialised courses in petroleum engineering. Incidentally, the village with placid environment otherwise looks intense with the deployment of a police forces to ensure that the CM’s visit will be incident-free in the light of the left-wing parties preparing for a showdown.

Damodaram Sanjeeviah National Law University is also coming up in the vicinity. The location was finalized on the recommendation of a two member committee set up by the Center comprising of Professor GJ Gupta, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, and Advisor SPM Mathur. The University was originally proposed to be established in East Godavari district, but the idea was dropped after Visakhapatnam emerged as a strategic location, availability of faculty and major industries like HPCL. The state government has allotted 150 acres for the campus at Sabbavaram.

Courses have already commenced in Andhra University from August this year with an intake of 60 in B Tech and 18 in M Tech during the first year. The university is being mentored by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. The premier university, which is welcomed by the industry circles hoping it will spur growth in the industrial hub of Visakhapatnam, brings to the fore the concerns of land losers. The farmers whose lands were notified for the university campus rallied behind the CPI-M and the other Left-wing parties with a resolve to fight it out.

Incidentally, the village is a basket of vegetables feeding the most part of Visakhapatnam. The farmers assert that their lands were fertile and they would be displaced if the university will be coming up in their village. CPI(M) state secretary P Madhu set the tone for the protests on the eve of the CM’s visit by making it to the village and interacting with the victims.