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GUJRAT: The Punjab government has approved the widening and carpeting of some 3km road connecting the new campus of the University of Gujrat (UoG) with Gujrat city through the Jalalpur Jattan road, however, the university administration has also sought the demolition of the markets, shops and some houses located right in front of the main entrance of the Hafiz Hayat campus before execution of the project.

Currently, the front of the campus is eclipsed due to the markets and houses and the UoG administration has been pressing the district government and other higher authorities to remove the commercial buildings right in front of the campus since long. The matter has now been taken up seriously by the Gujrat district administration to acquire the land at which these shops and houses are constructed for the widening of the main university road.

A sum of Rs202m has been approved and allocated for widening of the 3km road which will be turned into a dual carriageway as the existing road is single-track road and that too is in a dilapidated condition.

The local administration as well as the ruling party’s lawmakers had sought the funds for the dual carriageway from Gujrat city’s Boly Bridge up to the UoG campus, a distance of 12km, as traffic have increased by manifolds during the recent years on the road and accidents have become a routine. However, the Punjab government approved only 3km portion in the first phase with a pledge to complete the dual carriageway on the rest of the road in a second phase.

The funds were approved in the current annual development budget but the project was delayed due to district government’s plan of acquiring more land on both sides of the proposed dual carriageway of three kilometers so that it could be widened up to some 110 feet rather than the previous proposal of some 75 feet width for the road.

Official sources said the district government had asked the university to provide the additional funds required for the land acquisition to further widen the road which the university reportedly agreed to do but it sought the demolition of the market, houses and shops and acquisition of that land to clear the road.

Gujrat district government has told the university that the acquired land for the purpose of road widening will be the property of the university with the mutation in the name of that campus so that the future requirements of the road width could be met once for all.

Published in Dawn January 12th , 2014

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