CHITRAL: The future of University of Chitral (UoC) is at stake as the provincial government has not allocated any funds in its budget for purchase of land though the federal government has already set aside Rs1.70 billion for its construction, according to local people.

They said that currently over 2,000 students were enrolled here in the university whose future was at stake.

The university had been established by merger of the regional campuses of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University and Abdul Wali Khan University on July 5, 2017 and inaugurated by Imran Khan as chief of his party then in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A source in the university told this correspondent that the allocation of Rs1.70 billion by the federal government for construction of the university building was useless in the absence of any allocation for purchase of land by the provincial government.

He said everywhere the provision of land was the responsibility of the provincial government.

Talking to this scribe, former MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin said the allocations of Rs3 billion made in the federal budgets of 2017 and 2018 by the PML-N government for construction of the building went unutilised as the PTI government did not purchase the land.

He said the federal government of PTI did not make any allocation for this crucial project during the current and upcoming fiscal years. He claimed it even curtailed the allocation from Rs3 billion to Rs1.7 billion.

He said the provincial government should have allocated funds for land acquisition so that work on the building could have started.

Special assistant to the chief minister on minorities affairs, Wazir Zada, however, said revision of cost of land was in process and the chief minister would make special allocation for it.

The university is presently being run in a building of the technical education department.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020

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