KU's prized land at Nigeen up for grabs, authorities in 'slumber'

Authorities at Kashmir University (KU) have turned a blind eye to encroachment of varsity’s prized land of more than 40 Kanals near Nigeen Lake, at a walking distance from main campus at Hazratbal.

Though, as per revenue records, the varsity has the possession of the land, it has been however been encroached by locals. Besides, a patch of the land is being used as approach road for at least six to seven houseboats.

“They have turned it into playground and are creating hurdles for varsity administration to start any construction. The administration is non-serious in retrieving it from encroachers,” a KU official said.

Some years ago the varsity had decided to construct a water sports complex and residential quarters for KU faculty on the land.

“But the construction was left mid-way. Most of the faculty at the University including assistant and associate professors don’t have any accommodation,” the official said.

Recently, a team of KU officials visited the spot to revive the construction plan, but shockingly the officials stopped by locals “claiming their right on the land”.

“These locals are actually misled by some politician who wants this land to be used as playfield,” the official said.

Chief Proctor of the University Prof Naseer Iqbal said nobody will be allowed to encroach upon the land and the pan for construction of water sports complex and residential quarters will be taken up.

He said they had allowed the houseboat owners to use patch of land as approach road “temporarily”. “Once we start construction, they will not be allowed to trespass,” the chief proctor said.

President Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) Prof Muheet accused the varsity administration for its laxity in utilising the prized land properly.

“The University administration should pursue the case seriously and start construction as soon as possible,” he said.

Registrar KU, Nisar Ahmad Mir however contradicted the chief proctor saying construction of water sports complex was halted over a dispute after houseboat owners demanded permanent approach road through the land.

“We have taken up the matter with LAWDA authorities and requested them to provide a separate approach road to them,” he said.