Silence over school ground occupation in Mianwali
MIANWALI, Oct 3: The district government is constructing a stadium at the
64-canal playground of the century-old Government High School for Boys, but the
education department is indifferent to the issue.
Local Hindu businessmen
established the historic school east of Mianwali Town in 1902. It was upgraded
to middle level in 1917 and some more mudrooms were added to its existing
three-mudroom structure. The school was upgraded to high school level with the
help of Hindu businessman Ram Mohan Roy in 1927 and it was named Ram Mohan Roy
High School. Mr Roy provided funds for a spacious and beautiful school building
that is still intact.
In 1934, landowner Shiri Golati Lal donated his
32-kanal agricultural land to the school. Another philanthropist from Isakhel
tehsil, Lala Bodh Raj, donated his 18-room inn to the school in 1925. The school
made the inn, which had two-kanal area, its boarding house in 1927. In addition
to its structure, the school had a 64-kanal playground.
the school was named Government High School for Boys and it was transferred to
the rehabilitation department as evacuee property. Later, it was transferred to
the education department.
A few years later, the school started losing
its property. In 1966, the Pakistan Air Force got control of 16 of the 32-kanal
land, donated by Shiri Golati Lal, to set up an oil depot for its Mianwali base.
Later, land grabbers occupied the remaining 16-kanal agricultural
The education department is trying to regain this land through the
court half-heartedly. A few years ago, a so-called non-government organisation
for blinds occupied the school's boarding house, which the education department
has failed to regain so far.
And now Mianwali's district and tehsil
authorities are trying, so far successfully, to take control of the school's
64-kanal playground by constructing a stadium there.
A retired headmaster
of the school said that the stadium was being constructed without education
department's permission, adding the tehsil municipal administration (TMA) had no
jurisdiction over educational institutions' properties. He said Tehsil Nazim
Muhammad Amjad Khan, who is son of Federal Minister Dr Sher Afgan Niazi, had
started construction of a so-called sports complex without any legal claim over
the school land.
It has been learnt the project has been changed several
times and finally the sports complex has converted into a cricket stadium. As
usual, district and provincial education authorities are silent over this
'highhandedness' of the district government.
The Federal Sports Ministry
is funding the project worth Rs50 million. According to the plan, the district
sports committee will be in charge of the stadium after its completion, while
the school administration will have nothing to do with it.
Headmaster Muhammad Nawaz Khan said the school had not issued a no objection
certificate to the district government for a stadium on its playground. He said
the tehsil nazim had told him the education department had allowed the district
government to construct the stadium.
The executive district officer for
education was not available for comment. In his absence, District Officer for
Secondary Schools Muhammad Farooq Khan said he was unaware of any such
permission to the district government.
The tehsil nazim said the
construction of a stadium on the school's playground was proposed in 1991 by the
then deputy commissioner (DC) of Mianwali. He said the DC had floated the
proposal after getting permission from the education department. He said he just
pursued the case and got funds approved for the stadium. He said he was trying
to get more funds for the stadium. Dawn
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