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RAWALPINDI: Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University is charging the students Rs600 per semester for clean drinking water facility.

Students told Dawn that they had taken up the issue with Vice Chancellor Dr Rai Niaz Ahmed but to no avail.

“This is unfair. It’s a unique case that every student is being charged for drinking water,” said a girl student, who wished not be named. The students requested the government to intervene.

“We are paying full fee so it is our right to have clean drinking water free of cost,” said a student of the botany department.

When contacted, Nadeem Malik, a spokesman for the university, said Rs600 per semester was not a big deal for the students. He said all students were provided filtered water.

Meanwhile, students living in university hostels claimed that they were paying double fee for clean drinking water.

“We are paying Rs600 to the university and Rs600 to the hostel management for the drinking water,” said a student of MSc.

However, the spokesman rejected the claim of the hostel students. “ We are charging Rs600 from all students and there are no extra charges for the boarders,” he said.

Currently, around 1,000 students are living in three hostels of the university - Iqbal Hall, Jinnah Hall and Fatima Jinnah Hostel.

When contacted, Malik Azeem, the in-charge hostels, confirmed to Dawn that all boarders were being charged for clean drinking water.

He, however, said this was not against the rule as the university had to meet expenses of the filtration plant.

To a query, he said all students whether they lived in the hostel or not were being charged Rs600.

The filtration plant was installed at the university last year on the direction of the then Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar.

Published in Dawn March 1st , 2015

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