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Tug of war between FGCM, COMSATS over hostel

ISLAMABAD, May 11(Daily Times): The Federal Government College for Men (FGCM) has asked the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology to vacate a hostel belonging to the college as it needed lodging facilities for its own students.

Participants of a recent Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meeting also expressed concern over the occupation of the hostel by COMSATS.

It is learnt that the hostel was leased out to COMSATS from February 28, 2002 to February 28, 2006. The lease was not extended but COMSATS has not vacated the hostel even after over a year has passed since the lease expired.

Sources said COMSATS had not paid Rs 157,000 in utility bills for hostel facilities. College security staff were also concerned about the frequent visits of outsiders to the hostel, since the latter could not be told apart from FGCM students, the sources added.

They said the college administration had informed the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) that COMSATS was not vacating the hostel even after expiration of the lease agreement. The FDE was also told the hostel could accommodate 100 students only but that COMSATS was providing lodgings to 200, they added.

COMSATS had rented two hostels one from FGCM and another from the Government Polytechnic Institute for Women. Sources said COMSATS paid a monthly fee of Rs 10 per student to FGCM compared to the Rs 1,500 it paid to the polytechnic institution.

They said the college administration had also objected to a tuition academy being run in the hostel, which had been rented out only for residential purposes.

They said the college administration would raise the matter before the education minister and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) if COMSATS continued refusing to vacate the hostel.

"I have received several applications for hostel accommodation from our own students but I am unable to satisfy them because COMSATS is not willing to vacate the hostel," FGCM Principal Prof Kazim Hussain said.

The COMSATS rector's personal secretary flatly refused to comment on the issue or to arrange an interview with the rector. Instead, he referred the matter to hostel in charge Dr Attaullah Kareem. When contacted, Dr Kareem agreed to reveal the details, which he did not do even after two days.
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