The recent spell of rains might have resulted in cooler temperatures in the capital over the Eid holidays, but at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) they caused damage running into millions of rupees.
IIUI officials have decided in a meeting that the Higher Education Commission and other departments would be asked to help make up for the loss of equipment and furniture that was financed from public money, while there was no mention of disciplinary action for negligence, according to a press release.
Basements of Maryam Block at the women’s campus and the Science Block at the men’s campus were flooded, with four feet of water in every room.
Maryam Block suffered the worst damage where four laboratories were practically destroyed along with most of the record and costly equipment in the basement.
There are four laboratories in the building. The two computer laboratories had over 100 desktop computers, while another 100 PCs belonged to the staff and faculty.
Equipment in the two bioinformatics laboratories was also damaged.
An IIUI official requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune that over a dozen routers have become dysfunctional and the record of faculty members had been destroyed while their offices had been completely damaged.
An official from the Bioinformatics Department said that the damage has yet to be estimated but it could be over Rs50 million as the equipment is beyond repair.
No government official was available to comment on the loss of equipment destroyed by rainwater for which no protective measures were in place, at what is publicised as one of the world’s premier Islamic varsities, considering that rains during the monsoon are a predictable affair.
According to a press release issued by the varsity, Acting President Dr Mumtaz has ordered that a committee be constituted to address the issue.
IIUI officials discussed short-term measures to drain the water-so that students coming in for the new semester do not face any problem.
“It was also decided that precautionary measures will be taken to avoid such events in future while a committee has been formed to resolve this issue,” said the press release.
The offices of the finance department of the women’s section were also based in Maryam Block and the record they held has been destroyed. “Bills, students’ record and furniture, everything has been damaged,” said one of the officials of the finance department. A recently-installed heating system in the block for Rs10 million that was also submerged, has been damaged.
Sweepers were seen flushing out water and mud from corridors, classrooms in the science block as well faculty rooms inundating every room to four-feet.
In the Science Block the sports equipment and research papers of faculty members and other record was soaked in the muddy water and put out in the open to dry.
The provost’s office was also filled with mud and papers and other items could be seen either floating inside or set outside to dry.
During the rain, water accumulates in the administration block and in the basements as a matter of routine, but nothing has been done to address the problem.
According to an IIUI official, who had helped in the construction of some of the blocks, there was no basement in the master plan at first but it was built anyway.
When contacted, Planning Director Tahir Khan said it was the wrong number when asked about the flaws in the construction of the blocks.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2013.
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