DADU: Vice chancellors of three public universities have urged Sindh government to allot their varsities pieces of land at Gorakh hill station for establishing summer campuses, conference halls and guesthouses.

The VCs Dr Mujeebuddin Sehrai of Sindh Agriculture University, Dr Fateh Mohammad Burfat of Sindh University and Prof Mohammad Aslam Uqaili of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, who held a meeting through a conferencing app on Wednesday, believed it would also develop eco-tourism in the area.

They proposed to the Sindh government and the Gorakh Hills Development Authority (GHDA) to work jointly to facilitate research scholars, especially during summer vacations, to engage in research work in the area’s friendly environs.

Dr Sehrai said that it would not only enhance research opportunities in the area but also provide livelihood opportunities to locals living in surrounding areas of Wahi Pandhi, Tandorahim, Gaaji Shah, Sawro and Qasibo. The area might also be studied for agricultural intensification with the help of advanced research, he said.

Dr Burfat said that Sindh University had already submitted a formal application to the GHDA for the establishment of its summer campus and allotment of land for research work in the area.

He said that later a foundation stone was also laid in the vicinity of the hill resort by the authority’s chairman MNA Rafiq Ahmed Jamali for the summer campus but the project could not move ahead from this point for lack of funds.

Dr Uqaili advised the government to allocate funds for the establishment of research centres in the area which was environment friendly and had pleasant climatic as well as weather conditions throughout the year.

Prof Aijaz Qureshi, a development expert Dawn spoke to, agreed to the VCs’ proposal and said that it would greatly encourage tourism in the otherwise backward mountainous region.

GHDA director general Manzoor Ali Kanasro showed his helplessness to allot the land and said that revenue department had not yet issued a notification for handing over 500,000 acres land to the authority, which had received 500 applications from various government departments and individuals for the allotment of land in the area. He complained that the government had allocated only Rs120 million during current financial year for the development and maintenance of the hill resort, which was not sufficient to meet even basic needs of the area.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2020

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