PU landfill site | IJT defies PU adm

PU landfill site polluting Mustafa Town
Lahore, July 19: Residents of Mustafa Town, a locality on Wahdat Road, are forced to put up with stinking smell and poisonous gasses emanating from a landfill site used by the Punjab University (New Campus) to dump and burn its garbage.

Mustafa Town is located only 200 meters from the university's private landfill site. The site is maintained unscientifically and it had been polluting ground water and environment for the last two years.

Mustafa Town residents said pollution caused by burning garbage had ruined their lives, claiming PU staffers dumped at least three trolleys of garbage at this landfill site everyday.

Residents of the colony said smoke engulfed the entire locality when PU staffers burnt garbage and residents had no option but to breathe poisonous gasses emanating from the burning garbage. People were contracting diseases from these poisonous gasses, they remarked.

"My family now only dreams of breathing fresh air," said Muhammad Amir, a resident of Mustafa Town. "You can not imagine the stench of garbage that invades our nostrils if wind blows from the direction of the landfill site towards Mustafa Town," he said. He said several children in the society had developed asthma from breathing poisonous smoke.

Omar, another resident, said his entire family was suffering from breathing problems. He said his house was closest in the society to the landfill site. He said he had desperately tried to sell his home but no one was willing to buy it due to its proximity to the site.

Mushtaq, another resident of Mustafa Town, said the landfill site polluted ground water of the area during rains. He said despite requests, PU authorities had not stopped disposing of garbage near the colony.

He said the landfill site was threatening to 'bury' the colony under garbage. He warned of protests if PU authorities kept up this practice.

Residents said that they were running pillar to post but neither the government nor the PU was ready to give them relief. "We filed applications with the Punjab governor, the Punjab chief minister's Complaint Cell, the Punjab Environment Department, the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) and the vice-chancellor of the Punjab University. Regrettably, we got a very cold response," Omar said. He said residents had decided to approach human rights organisations and the Supreme Court of Pakistan to get relief.

Naseemur Rehman, a senior officer of the Punjab Environment Department, said that private housing colonies and other organisations were allowed to build landfill sites but only in accordance with specifications and design issued by the Pakistan Environment Protection Department. He said if the Punjab University was operating a landfill site then it should match the department's specifications and design otherwise action will be taken against the varsity. He said the department had not received any formal complaint from residents. He said the department will investigate the issue and will take action to solve problems faced by residents of Mustafa Town.

When contacted, the Punjab University registrar said the issue was not in his notice. He said he will take action if any complainant from the society approached him.

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IJT defies PU adm, sets up stalls again
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) chapter Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) once again set up admission stalls at the varsity's New Campus on Saturday.

On Friday, the PU administration had uprooted Jamiat stalls on the ground that no student organization was allowed to set up stalls.

According to a press statement issued by IJT, the student organization set up a number of admission stalls at the Punjab University on Saturday at various places including IBA Lawn, Center for Higher Energy Physics (CHEP) and University Gate No 2, while the main admission stall was set up in front of Faisal Auditorium. A large number of admission seeking students visited these stalls.

Booklets containing information about admission process and last year's merit of all departments were also available at the Jamiat stalls.

PU chapter IJT nazim Qaiser Sharif vowed that Jamiat would continue organizing such positive activities in universities to guide new comers in proper way.

He also demanded PU Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran take a stern action against the guards and administrative staff involved in Friday's incident wherein Jamiat stalls were removed.

He also demanded the VC make a review committee regarding admission policy of university and abolish entry test.

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CM concerned about bad result of 19 colleges
Lahore: Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that despite spending billions of rupees, desired results could not be achieved in the education sector and zero result of 19 colleges of the province in the recent examinations of BA/BSc was a matter of concern. He said only competent teachers could provide higher and quality education and special attention was being paid to the teacher's training and all possible resources would be provided in this regard.

He was addressing a meeting regarding standardised training of teachers during his visit to the Directorate of Staff Development here on Saturday.

The chief minister said the dream of development could be materialised only by the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy, therefore, the government has given top priority to the promotion of education.

He said teachers' training was important for improvement in the education sector and promotion of quality education and effective measures were being taken for this purpose. He directed the constitution of a committee to formulate and submit recommendations within 10 days, keeping in view all the aspects of training of teachers. He said the committee, while formulating its final recommendations, should also review all the aspects including in service training of teachers, separation of teaching and management cadres and merger of different training institutions for teachers training. He said the number of teachers training courses during service should also be included in the evaluation of their performance.

Mr Shahbaz said highly-trained teachers were of key importance for strengthening of foundations of the education system. He said a solid strategy should be adopted for teachers' training and the maximum number of trainers should be prepared to train teachers in the far-flung areas of the province. He said 34,000 educators were being recruited on merit in the province and a comprehensive programme was required to train these teachers.

NEW BLOCK: Talking on the occasion of the inauguration of the new block of the building of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said the aim of setting up of the endowment fund was to help the students, who were facing financial difficulties, to complete their education. He said the endowment fund would leave far-reaching impact on the improvement of the education sector.

He said the staff of endowment fund were trying to materialise the dream of the government regarding provision of education for the poor students. He said there were numerous students in the society who could not continue their studies due to financial constraints.

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IT labs in 4,286 schools
Lahore: Additional Chief Secretary Punjab Javed Aslam has said the Information Technology Laboratories in 4286 secondary and higher secondary schools will be set up by November 2009.

He said this while addressing the participants of agreement signing ceremony about provision of IT equipment for these labs. Additional Chief Secretary signed the agreement on behalf of Punjab government while representative of Microsoft, DELL, ACER, HP, Siemens, N-Computing, PTCL and PEL also signed the agreement.

Javed Aslam said that 95% civil work of IT laboratories had been completed while reputed national and international companies had been engaged in project for provision of IT equipment and allied resources. He further said the agreement had been signed with PTCL for installation of internet facilities in these IT labs while TEVTA would provide furniture. Additional Chief Secretary, Javed Aslam further said the Chief Minister Punjab's vision was to bridge the digital divide between private and public sector schools and create awareness in use of latest technology for learning and skill building. He said the training programme for the teachers of IT labs had also been started.

Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary has said all the departments will have to be vigilant for coping with emergency situation in case of terrorism and natural calamity.

He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting regarding defence planning at Civil Secretariat on Saturday. Representatives of federal government and armed forces besides senior officers of Home, Police and other departments also attended the meeting. Briefing was given by Home Department, Rescue-1122, Police, Prosecution Service, Civil Defence, Communication & Works, Transport, Irrigation and other departments. The Chief Secretary said that a practicable plan should be evolved for coping with terrorism and emergent situation in an effective manner which should be implemented in letter and spirit. The News

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