Will Chief Minister’s constituency lose Central University?
Move To ‘Explore Alternate Options’ Due To ‘Marshy Land’
Srinagar, Aug 3: What could deal a final blow to the establishment of Central University of Kashmir in Ganderbal district—the Chief Minister’s constituency—the J&K Government is, of late, getting expert suggestions that the “proposed land identified for establishment of the varsity is marshy and unfit for construction purposes.”
Highly placed sources told Greater Kashmir that the proposed land spanning areas like Kurhama, Tulmulla and Zarigund is lately being “considered as unfit for establishment of the University” by experts, including some top engineers as well. The experts, they said, are of the view that the state government must explore “alternate land options” to establish the varsity.
The development, according to sources, is most likely to trigger discord between the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the state government especially in view of the approval to transfer of over 4600 kanals of land in Ganderbal—vide a cabinet order—for establishment of the Central University.
The state cabinet had on January 14 last year approved transfer of 4600 kanals of land in favour of Jammu and Kashmir Higher Education Department for construction and establishment of the Central University of Kashmir. But so far since 2010, according to official sources, the state government has just transferred a little over 3200 kanals of land out of about 4600 kanals, hitting badly the timely establishment of the varsity.
According to sources, the state government officials have been silently visiting different new areas—some in Ganderbal itself—to “see if any other land is available for the purpose.” “In fact, they unofficially identified some land Margi area of Safapora for recommendation as an alternate land for establishing the University,” the sources disclosed.
With the transfer of land last year, the CU authorities had said that the construction work would be soon started.
Although the CU was established in 2009, the campus has not been built yet and the university is still operating from temporary facilities at Sonwar and Magarmalbagh in Srinagar, while plans for construction at Ganderbal have been underway for over a year now. The varsity is facing acute accommodation crunch.
Pertinently the establishment of the Central University has become a major issue in the Valley, with J&K Government, off and on, being accused of failing to transfer the full land to pave way for the construction work.
Just recently, in March, the establishment of the University faced a blow when local residents resented its construction on the ground that the “state government is still to compensate them for the land they offered for setting up the varsity.”
This followed after a team from CUK, along with men from the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), had visited Tulmulla area of Ganderbal to lay boundary wall of the varsity there and take formal possession of the land. However the locals immediately came rushing to the site and opposed the construction work.
The local residents, according to witnesses, demanded immediate compensation if the university construction is to take place.
When contacted the Vice-Chancellor Central University Prof Abdul Wahid acknowledged that proposed land was “a bit marshy” but said, “I am not familiar with the idea of earmarking of some other land for the university.”
“I don’t have an idea that Government is looking of some other land. The settlement of the University is in the process and in fact the demarcation of proposed land at Ganderbal has already begun,” he told Greater Kashmir.
‘Very Difficult Proposition’
The Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Showkat Ahmad Mir said the current land was approved by a Central team and government has distributed Rs 20 crore and 50 lakhs as compensation among people. “The land which was firstly proposed for the University was marshy but the present land is not. It is extremely unlikely that the land would be abandoned after compensating the farmers and demarcating the land,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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