In major roadblock for the Central University of Kashmir (CUK), the University Grants Commission (UGC) is likely to squeeze the flow of funds for the varsity given the poor utilization of money released in first phase of the construction plan for the Varsity.
Official sources said Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD) had released an amount of Rs 400 crore for completion of the buildings during the first phase of which only Rs 100 crore was utilized so far.
“The construction of buildings was divided in three phases of which MHRD through UGC had released an amount of Rs 400 Cr. Ironically CUK couldn’t utilize the funds following which more than Rs 300 Cr lapsed,” the sources said.
They said the poor utilization of funds by CUK has annoyed MHRD which is likely to withhold the further release of funds to raise the construction as there was no head way in construction work at Ganderbal.
“CUK had got huge amount for raising construction but they couldn’t utilize it upto the 31 March 2017 and the funds got lapsed. UGC was annoyed and deviated funds to other Universities,” the sources said.
For more than six years now the Central University of Kashmir (CUK), which was established in 2009, is functioning from rented accommodations at three temporary places.
At the proposed site of the university campus at Tulmulla in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, the construction of the building has faced roadblocks resulting in inordinate delay to complete the buildings.
“Now UGC and MHRD will only release further funds if the University authorities will be able to go ahead with the construction of buildings,” the sources said.
They said the release of funds is directly proportional with the construction of buildings.
“If CUK couldn’t start construction of the buildings, there are apprehensions that the authorities won’t be in position to shift the campus to Ganderbal,” they said.
Meanwhile, a top official in district administration Ganderbal said the basic reason for delay on raising construction work was due to the poor quality of land identified by government for the University Campus.
“The land is marshy and has very low capacity of load bearing.
The officials said the land was not feasible for the construction but was handed over to the CUK for construction purposes.
“Another setback for the administration is that we are facing hurdles in doing earth filling of this land. We have identified some spots where from we could get the soil for earth filling but locals in the area opposed the move,” the official said.
Amid the delay in raising construction and shifting of students from rented accommodation to permanent campuses, there has been a cost escalation of the project which has created another impediment in shifting of University to Ganderbal.
“The cost escalation is another worrying factor. The CUK has failed to utilize already allocated funds and now we have apprehensions that MHRD and UGC may not accept their plea to release additional funds,” the official said.
Interestingly, the former Chief Minister during his visit had ordered for transfer of around 1000 kanals of land at alternate place in Ganderbal district for raising construction however, the process is still lingering in official corridors.
“The land is under possession of Animal Husbandry and state government besides district administration took up the matter with higher ups in the department, but there has been no development in it till date,” the official in district administration Ganderbal said.