KU staff, faculty pay millions to live in slum-like conditions

The teaching and non-teaching members of the varsity staff say the residential quarters lack appropriate facilities.

SYED RIZWAN GEELANI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 21 2018 9:36PM | Updated Date: Sep 21 2018 9:36PM
KU staff, faculty pay millions to live in slum-like conditionsFile Photo

Despite collecting fifty million rupees annually from residents of its staff quarters, the authorities at University of Kashmir have left them poorly maintained forcing around 200 them live in slum-like conditions. 

The teaching and non-teaching members of the varsity staff say the residential quarters lack appropriate facilities. 

A professor said the authorities have failed to improve the conditions of residential quarters during the last two decades. 

“It seems we are living in slums. The quarters and its premises are apparently left with no watch and ward from the varsity administration,” the professor said, wishing not to be identified.

According to him, around 220 teaching and non-teaching staff members are putting up at Mirza Bagh and main campus of the University of Kashmir.

Out of 220 boarders, 120 are from teaching section including 32 Professors and 30 Associate Professors and other Assistant Professors. The non-teaching residents include joint registrar, assistant registrars, head assistants and other officials of the campus.

“More than three hundred teaching and non-teaching staff members are residing outside the campus in rented accommodations,” said an Assistant Professor, adding the number of flats has remained the same since 1990 despite much new recruitment.

At present, the university has more than 350 faculty members on its rolls of which around 110 are provided residential quarters and the rest are putting up outside campus.

According to officials, a Professor pays Rs  32000 per month as rent (House Rent Allowance) towards the university against the residential quarters allotted to him. Associate Professors pay Rs 20000-25000 while an Assistant Professor pays Rs 12000-16000 per month.

“Non-teaching staff members are paying housing rent allowance varying from Rs 4,000 to Rs 24,000 each. The aggregated amount tunes up to Rs five crore per year, but contrary to it the condition of these flats is worse and pathetic,” the Professor said.

He said requisitions and numerous complaints have not been taken seriously by the university authorities. 

“We are suffering miserably because of the non-availability of basic facilities. The irony is that around 50 percent quarters are without geysers. Poor sanitation at the quarters has made these buildings prone to health hazards,” a resident said.

Citing the issues, Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) recently submitted a representation to the newly appointed Vice Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad.

“We have raised this issue in past as well but authorities didn’t pay any heed,” said Prof Muheet, president of KUTA, adding that no attention was being paid to the prized Mirza Bagh land spread over 60 kanals. 

“There is no fencing due to which it can be easily encroached upon.”

Executive Engineer, Burhan Ahmad Shah said a comprehensive project report for renovation of these quarters was prepared and submitted to the university authorities.

“Once the proposal is approved and money will be released we will start mass renovation of all these residential flats,” he said.

He said the team consisting of vice-chancellor, registrar, deputy registrar administration are authorised to approve the proposal. 

“Unless they don’t release the money, we can’t start work on these quarters.”

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