ANANTNAG: Dozens of students from different parts of the restive South Kashmir region, enrolled at the main campus of the Central University Kashmir (CUK), are facing hardships as the university administration has so far made no arrangements for their transportation to and from home.
The students told Kashmir Reader that while the university authorities have kept a free pick and drop facility for students from Srinagar, those from South Kashmir have been kept devoid of any such services.
“This is despite our willingness to pay for the university bus service,” a student told Kashmir Reader, requesting not to be named.
CUK’s main campus is located in Ganderbal, some 20 kilometres from the summer capital.
Every evening, lament students from Pulwama, Anantnag and other parts of South Kashmir, they are dropped off at Pantha Chowk on the outskirts of Srinagar city.
“The traffic scene nowadays is already in a mess with the opening of NH 44. It is hard to figure out which vehicle will ply on what route. Amid all this, the university has been non-committal in providing us the bus services,” a girl student from Pulwama district said.
She told Kashmir Reader that the university buses drop them daily at Pantha Chowk at dusk and it becomes a nightmare to get back home after that.
“We hardly find a ride back home. Sometimes our families send someone to pick us up and sometimes we have to walk miles before we can find a ride,” another student said.
The short days in winter and the ongoing volatile atmosphere of the southern region of Kashmir have left the students all the more exhausted with the daily grind even as their families worry constantly for the safety of their wards.
The students and families Kashmir Reader talked to said that they have been taking up the issue with the university authorities time and again.
“But they do not seem to listen, despite the fact that we are ready to pay for the services they are providing the Srinagar students for free,” a parent from Pulwama told Kashmir Reader.
The parents questioned the university authorities’ discrimination toward the students from South Kashmir.
“The safety of the children should be their prime concern. Why are the university authorities so indifferent towards the issue?” asked the worried parents.
The university’s Public Relations Officer, Arshid Mehraj, told Kashmir Reader that CUK was ready to extend the services in case the parents were willing to pay for them.
“They should come to us if they are ready to pay for the services, and we can accordingly chalk out the modalities. We have no issues in extending the services to South Kashmir if they are willing to pay for it,” Mehraj said.
This is with reference to the news story “Marshy Tulmulla land costs CUK Rs 800 crore” published in your esteemed daily on 5th of December 2018. It is hereby clarified that CUK does not face any difficulty as far as funding is concerned. The university is getting funds as per the utilization. However, in view of low load bearing capacity of the land at the allotted site at Tulmulla Ganderbal, coupled with some local issues, the university could not utilize the funds as planned.