Srinagar: For the first time in the annals of Kashmir University authorities have allowed any construction in the main lawn of the campus. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) sponsored project has been given permission to erect the meteorological tower for the weather forecast in the lawn, an official of the university said.
During the PDP-Congress tenure, it’s learnt that former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had requested the then Vice Chancellor not to let any construction work in the lawns, as it would obstruct and damage the panoramic view of the varsity.
In the main lawn, two deep trenches have already been dug out with construction material piled on a segment of green turf. A small portion of iron fencing has been dismantled to pave way for workers and trucks for stocking up the material. The patch of manicured flowerbeds too has been trampled on.
“The project consists of a large satellite tower along with three smaller ones. Their heights will around 100 meters. It will block and obstruct the communication devices installed in the University. It is more of a technical site,” said a faculty member on the condition of anonymity.
Moreover, the project has set tongues wagging in the varsity with Kashmir University Teachers Associations demanding shifting the project to the periphery.
“We gave our representation to VC for stalling the work and shifting this project to some other place in the campus. We aren’t against the project but it will set a precedent for others to design similar projects in the lawns. It will damage the beautiful lawns which have been preserved for the past six decades,” Dr Salahuddin Tak, president KUTA told Kashmir Reader.
On the other hand, Head of Earth Sciences department and project head Prof Shakeel Ahmad Ramshoo, believes that project is significant for meteorological parameters of the Valley.
“It’s a meteorological observation project. It’s a great thing to happen here as we have only a few meteorological observation projects. The profilers installed can provide all meteorological parameters,” said Ramshoo.
“Also a LeD TV will be installed to give updates about weather and air composition,” said he, while providing details about the project.
Ramshoo said that such profilers would be installed in each satellite campuses of the University and already one had been erected in Leh. Asked about the reservations to the project, he said the construction work has been stalled for now and for that it would be appropriate to talk to interim VC.
KU’s interim VC Prof A M Shah while admitting that there are some reservations to the project said, “The work has been stopped and we are going to examine it in view of some reservations. We will see if it can be shifted to some other place as there are reservations from the faculty,” Shah told Kashmir Reader.