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Punjab University & SUPARCO land controversy

PU asks SUPARCO to vacate varsity land
Lahore, June 30, 2008: A controversy has once again erupted over lease agreement between the Punjab University (PU) and Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) while the former has also sent a legal notice asking the Commission to vacate its (university's) land.

The Punjab University had leased out 12 acres of land for 20 years to SUPARCO for setting up facilities for satellite tracking, space application and research on March 17, 1987. However, a controversy had erupted in 2006, before expiry of the lease, when the PU authorities expressed unwillingness to renew the lease agreement because of SUPARCO's alleged failure to meet certain terms and conditions.

PU officials had alleged that the management of SUPARCO had not met the terms and conditions as it did not properly assist the university in teaching and practical training of its students and supervising research work of students.

On the other hand, SUPARCO had maintained that it had not only fulfilled all its obligations under the deed, but had also provided the university with services and material support that had been totally outside the scope of this deed.

Nonetheless, akistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission later requested for provision of additional 50 acres land while the PU asked the Commission to hand over the 12 acres of land along with the structure constructed on it to the university as per the lease agreement, which expired on March 17, 2007.

The matter regarding request of the additional land was placed before the university Syndicate in a meeting held on September 11, 2006, and was rejected unanimously by members.

However, in its meeting held on May 18, 2007, the PU Syndicate approved the renewal of the lease agreement (excluding the additional land) with SUPARCO for ten years with revised terms and conditions.

It was also decided by the Syndicate that all contracts would be subject for reconsideration after every two years while PU would also charge akistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission per-acre agriculture rate with ten percent annual increase.

According to PU officials, as per the 1987 agreement, the Commission was paying Rs 10,000 as annual rent to the university against the total leased land.

The officials added that according to the revised agreement of 2007, SUPARCO had to pay Rs 17,600 per acre per annum with 10 per increase each year.

They said it was decided that SUPARCO would help improve laboratories of the varsity and provide training and apprenticeships to it students of space science and physics etc, too.

However, sources in the PU administration said that akistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission authorities were reluctant to sign the agreement with revised terms and conditions, adding they were insisting to sign the agreement as continuation of 1987 agreement.

"This is quite evident from the fact that the agreement was yet to be signed despite approval in this regard was granted by Syndicate in May 2007", they added.

They further said that soon after the legal notice was served by the PU administration, the akistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission contacted the chancellor to intervene and to ask the university to ensure continuation of the 1987 agreement for further 10 years.

It is further learnt reliably that the Chancellor Office subsequently asked the PU to review its 2007 agreement with SUPARCO and consider if 1987 agreement could be continued for further ten years.

In this regard, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran was not available for comments.

However, when contacted, Resident Officer-II (RO-II) Malik Muhammad Zaheer, whose office is dealing with the lease agreement, stated that the legal notice was served, as the university did not want to renew and extend the agreement. He added that it was the right of the university to get back its land.

"SUPARCO has started construction work on PU land despite the fact that the 2007 agreement, was not signed as yet," he said.

He added that, "It should handover the 12 acres of land along with the structure on it to the university as per the lease agreement of 1987."

Replying to a question, he said the Chancellor Office had asked the PU to review the situation; however, the matter would be placed before the PU Syndicate for final decision in this regard. The News

Your Comments
"why between this problem between the student are depressed why suparco donot accept the space science degree and why suparco do not offer job to space science student.give me the ans if you have .iam a student of space science and i have no job till 3 years.iam sorry to say that you give 3rd preference to space science studend."
Name: Abbas
City, Country: Lahore

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