LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has been delaying payments it owes to Punjab University for utilising its grounds for the Orange Line Metro Train project.

The university registrar has written to the director general of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) three letters seeking payment of consideration amount against the use of 305 kanal land of the varsity for the mega project according to the current commercial rates.

“The land owned by Punjab University was taken more than four years ago by the LDA for construction of link road from Lahore Branch Canal to Wahdat Road but no consideration amount has been paid till now (Sept 26, 2018).

The university registrar had also written another letter -- “Request for payment of Rs8,145,000 on account of rent for usage of university grounds along Lake Road, Lahore, since 01.12.2015 for construction of Metro Bus Transit System and Orange Line Metro Train projects.”

PU Registrar Prof Khalid Khan told Dawn that they had been demanding rent and compensation for the land acquired by the LDA for its different projects, but to no avail.

He said that he had issued several reminders to the LDA director general but no one replied to him.

He said the LDA had paid compensation to the Government College University (GCU) for acquiring its land for the OLMT project, but the authority did not pay even a single penny to the PU.

He said the Lahore High Court had issued directions for rehabilitation of the sports ground of the PU old Campus but the LDA did not fix it despite passage of the last date set for the purpose by the court.

“The contractors were dumping the construction waste material in the PU sports ground near the Lake Road which could result in injuries to the sportsmen,” he said.

He also said the department had purchased eight kanal land near the Lake Road from the varsity worth Rs300 million but did not pay even a single rupee for it. “We will request the court to calculate the land’s worth and direct the LDA to pay the compensation,” he added.

However, the LDA spokesman Sohail Janjua told Dawn that the varsity administration had written letters demanding compensation and rent for the land acquired from the PU, but the matter was sub-judice.

He said before acquiring the PU land for construction of a link road between the Canal Road and Wahdat Colony, the LDA had committed it would give commercial status to the varsity land around the link road in compensation for allowing the project execution.

He said the court would now decide the matter.

KITCHEN GARDENING: Punjab University Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAGS) has organised a seminar on kitchen gardening for creating public awareness about growing vegetables at home.

The seminar was also aimed at motivating the community to opt for kitchen gardening and related practices to meet the food requirement of growing population and boost the country’s economy.

IAGS Director Prof Dr Muhammad Saleem Haider, Chief Organizer Dr Mubeen Sarwar, expert and activist Jawad Qadir, Abdul Salam from Directorate of Floriculture, senior seed consultant from Engro (Pvt) Abid Dar, faculty members and students were present on the occasion.

In his address, Dr Muhammad Saleem said there was a dire need to educate people about the benefits of kitchen gardening. Later, shields and seeds for winter crops were distributed among the guests and speakers.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2018

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