UoP seeks to wrest control of 300 hostel rooms from student wings

Says the move is part of reforms and renovation process in the hostels

Our Correspondent July 09, 2018
University of Peshawar. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Facing a shortage of space to accommodate new students at its on-campus hostels owing to the alleged illegal occupation of rooms by members of some student wings, the administration of the University of Peshawar (UoP) has decided to clean up 300 hostel rooms in the varsity.

According to a statement issued by UoP Media Cell on Sunday, the varsity administration said it was determined to introduce reforms in the hostels and to renovate the facilities.

In this regard, the varsity administration said that it will clean up the mess created by illegal occupants of hostels. However, all student unions have been thwarting the efforts of the varsity administration to evict them from the hostels and provide space for incoming students under one pretext or another.

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The varsity claimed that hostel rooms are illegally occupied by different student factions including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) linked People Students Federation (PSF), the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) linked Islamia Jamiat Talba (IJT), the Awami National Party (ANP) linked Pukhtun Students Federation (PkSF), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) affiliated Insaf Students Federation (ISF) and other regional factions.

These student factions have a habit of maintaining and holding hostel cards to sell to prospective outsiders and illegal occupants to earn money, the varsity claimed.

Owing to this trend, it said, hostels remain a big threat to generally peaceful campus environment as there is no data available with security officials about these illegal occupants. UoP provides nearly Rs10 million in subsidy to pay for the power bills of the hostel even as it charges each student Rs7,000 as rent with annual fees amounting to Rs24,000.

The varsity claimed that the total cost incurred on housing each student in the hostel was actually seven times that amount.

Apart from paying the power bill, the university’s incumbent provost is trying to arrange for generators, additional water tanks, water cooling plants and geysers to provide essential utilities to students residing in the hostels.

Moreover, the renovation work at the hostels is in full swing especially at I and II and IX with a new student room and dining room being built in B-block of the hostel.

The renovation process is being carried out under a Higher Education Commission (HEC) funded programme.

Apart from trying to evict illegal residents from the hostel so that the varsity can recuperate some of its losses, the UoP Provost had recently made a big recovery from the canteen owners worth millions which were then invested in the hostels.

No shutdown

The statement denied reports that the varsity was closing down its hostels, terming the reports baseless and concocted.

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“All the BS (fourth year) exams had ended on June 30 and the fall semester will not start until September. Hostel I and II, meant for students of masters programmes are open since their exams will be held shortly. upcoming master’s examinations,” the statement explained.

It further denied hiking any fees for students, with the reports termed as a ploy to muster sympathies for some students for their vested interests. Despite that, the varsity had recently worked with the district administration to impose Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to prevent any untoward situation from developing owing to the current reform and renovation process.

More notably, the university has planned to add some 1,000 seats in the hostels for students in the upcoming BS semester fall session.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2018.


Farooq Ahmed | 4 years ago | Reply This must be done in all hostels of colleges and universities
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