Syed Karar Hashmi
Ganderbal is a newly established district carved out from Srinagar in year 2007, bordered by the Srinagar district in the south, Bandipora to the north, Kargil in the northeast, Islamabad to the southeast, Baramulla in the southwest and divided into four blocks viz, Ganderbal, Kangan, Lar and Wakoora.
Historically Ganderbal has always remained peaceful, an attractive and a safer tourist destination for every tourist till date. We want more peace and development to prevail not only in Ganderbal but to the rest of the valley as well. The successive regime had failed to strengthen basic infrastructure and facilities to the inhabitants residing within boarders of the said district.
Under the rule of National Conference (NC), people were promised an Islamic University at Ganderbal and subsequently Muslim Auqaf Trust (MAT) headed by the chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah earmarked 100 kanals of land for the Islamic university in the same district.
To add here, dreams of ours have never been fulfilled by hollow promises by the successive regimes. Once Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came into power, they changed the decision of previous regime led by National Conference and set up the Islamic University in South Kashmir’s Awantipora town. However, we welcome it and every developmental initiative by the government in any of the districts of state is a welcome step and needs appreciation and support irrespective of petty political interests.
Central university of Ganderbal established in Year 2009, possessing more than 500 kanals of land, falls in three villages Tulmulla, Barsoo and Kurhama. During fifth five year plan (2012-2017) the varsity authorities have said that Rs 191.55 crores and Rs 17.39 Crores were earmarked for construction of buildings and campus development respectively at Ganderbal.
The soil testing was done and foundation was laid to many projects of varsity. In reply to an RTI by CUK, filed by lawyer Jeelani in year 2015, that the amount spent till 2015 on construction of the buildings, soil testing, consultancy, landscape and foundation laying ceremonies stands Rs 7.87 crores.
However, the university authorities are paying crores of rupees as rent for private buildings to run its academic activities. It has been estimated that that authorities are paying a whopping Rs 4. 10 crore every year to the owners of the private buildings hired and will continue to function at rented spaces until its infrastructure is built at the earmarked land.
Responding to a calling attention notice by Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, the education Minister, Syed Altaf Bukhari said that following the communication from MHRD, the university has been asked to stop all the constructional activities till the visit of the project monitoring unit of MHRD.
Dear government, we are peace lovers; do not compel us to take to streets. Already tests have been conducted to the soil by the expert team and huge capital has been invested by the government. On this issue, we are going to aware every individual in the district and will remain well prepared to fight against all odds, but will never let anything wrong happen this time.
Umar Wani a young lawyer from central Kashmir Ganderbal told that “crores of rupees have been invested by the government on the said project and any decision to wind up the project form district is not acceptable and will be treated as a mockery of justice. Let’s know what is the need of constituting a new team for testing of land when tests stand conducted already.
We request all the political representatives in Ganderbal to be united this time and come up with a clean ideology on the said subject and expose those who want to sabotage this project and support in its shifting from the district.
In the larger interests of the district, we shall stand united and not allow the government to shift the university.