CUK to build 19 two-storey blocks in ‘purely Kashmiri style’ on marshy Ganderbal campus

CUK to build 19 two-storey blocks in ‘purely Kashmiri style’ on marshy Ganderbal campus
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Professor from IIT Delhi to conduct soil tests and advise on construction

IRSHAD KHAN

SRINAGAR: As executing the “masterplan” for the varsity seems a “distant dream”, the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) has now decided to build a cluster of 19 two-storey blocks at its Tulmulla campus in Ganderbal district to shift departments there.
After consistently failing to set up a university campus in Ganderbal district since 2009, the state government said earlier this year that the campus needed to be shifted to an alternate site within the district, because the land where it was being constructed was “marshy”.
Currently, the varsity’s departments and offices are running from rented buildings in districts of Ganderbal and Srinagar.
Vice Chancellor CUK, Prof Meraj-ud-Din Mir, told Kashmir Reader that they would build a cluster of 19 “G plus one (2-storey)” buildings at the Tulmulla campus which can accommodate as many departments of the varsity.
Earlier, the CUK had said it would build pre-engineered buildings (PEBs) at the Tulmulla campus. The varsity’s Information Technology department was indeed shifted to one of the PEB structures.
Prof Mir said it was a risk to even build a compound wall there. “Whatever (portion of compound wall) we have raised, that has tilted,” Prof Mir said.
Prof Mir said that the 19 proposed G-plus-one buildings, 8 of which would be tendered out by next week, will be built on the same land but in “purely Kashmiri style”.
He said that one G-plus-one prototype has already been built there at a cost of Rs 1 crore.
“Now we will go for the 19 replica buildings. The cost for each block will be Rs 1.7 crore,” Prof Mir informed.
“Any construction that exceeds Rs 75 lakh has to be approved by the UGC-appointed National Committee, but we will bypass that,” said Prof Mir.
Prof Mir said that the 19 proposed blocks had been approved by Prof SK Rao, an expert from IIT, New Delhi, who had visited the campus recently.
To advise the CUK to execute the construction, Prof Rao will undertake “extensive soil testing with latest gadgets”, Prof Mir informed.
While the cluster of the 19 buildings would be “cost-effective”, Prof Mir said he feared that executing the masterplan of the CUK was a “distant dream”.
The VC said that the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which did the initial soil testing of the campus, had submitted its report without actually visiting the site.
Although late chief minister Mufti Sayeed had committed 1,000 kanals of additional land in the vicinity of the campus for the CUK, Prof Mir said, “That did not materialise.”