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Where do the proceeds of KU nurseries go?

Karachi, April 16(The News): A number of nurseries have emerged along the outer boundary wall of the University of Karachi between Silver Jubilee Gate and the Staff Town Gate raising a few eyebrows and questions.

We talked to a number of senior professors who expressed their willingness to speak about the nursery requesting that their names not be divulged. A professor was sarcastic about the new development saying the nursery inside the campus had withered due to the negligence of the university garden staff but the Vice Chancellor had given the land to private parties. "It is surprising. No tenders were floated. No one was taken into confidence. Prime land has been given to the nursery mafia. It is an irony indeed," he said.

Another professor feigned his ignorance about the latest development and thought it might be the case of 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours'. "The university should have done it instead of gifting it to others. "What use are the hordes of employees currently employed by the university in its nursery?" he asked.

Prof Pirzada Qasim, Vice Chancellor of the university vehemently denied such allegations saying that it was given to the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) for the purpose of beautification of the area as it was littered with plastic bags, and writings on the wall presented a dismal picture of the university. "The area along the outer wall is ultimately to be turned into the service lane when the reconstruction of the University Road begins. When asked who will get the proceeds from the sale of flower plants, he said that the university was not to receive any amount from the nursery owners. He expressed his ignorance about the beneficiary of the revenue generated from the nurseries.

We talked to the owner of the nursery on Wednesday but he declined saying that he was working for CDGK. The power for the nursery comes from a nearby pole (Kunda system) and water is supposedly supplied by the tankers.

The VC derided the non-conformists saying they were 'grumblers' who did nothing except giving their unsolicited advice. "They do nothing. Where were they when the land was lying vacant in such a pathetic state presenting very bleak picture of the university?" he asked. He said that the land will be returned to the university without delay when asked for its return and it was not an encroachment. According to him, the nurseries would not use electricity or water from the university. However, he was not sure how the nurseries would fulfill the need of water and electricity.

Lubna, a student of the university had a few questions to ask from the university authorities instead of expressing her views. "Will there be a sidewalk for the students to walk on? Is the university administration erecting a shade on the University Road to save us from the burning sun? Will the Rangers or the university security staff save us from the pestering urchins who live on the encroached university land and beg, steal and are engaged in many other activities?" May be the university has some answers. Let us wait and see.
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