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A hard going for GCU boarders

Sept 26: Boarders at the hostel of the Government College University, Faisalabad, are perturbed over a lack of facilities which has made their life tough.

The Sir Syed Hostel, hired by the Government Municipal College, Abdullahpur, presents a picture of neglect as the compound is not mopped and the washrooms and toilets emit foul smell. Most students prefer to go outside to take bath as the facilities in the hostel are seldom done up.

Constructed decades ago, the hostel has 98 (8x5) rooms each of which accommodates three students who pay full dues. Students from different cities taking classes from first year to MPhil are living in the hostel.

Its administration seems least bothered to resolve the problems and the boarders allege that it only focuses on minting money. Each boarder pays approximately Rs9,000 while getting allotment for a room.

The students say the situation is all the more difficult for them during Ramazan as they cannot perform ablutions for offering prayers.

The institution got the university status on Oct 23, 2002 and Dr Asif Iqbal, the then principal of the Education College Lahore, was appointed its first vice-chancellor. The varsity status, however, landed the administration in an outlandish situation as it launched new disciplines without doing homework.

Initially, the boys hostel situated on the old campus had been vacated to conduct classes of master's in mass communication, Urdu, Pakistan Studies, education and other subjects. While boarders of the GCU old hostel were sent to the Sir Syed Hostel and many newcomers were accommodated here.

Sources said the students immediately raised objections to shortage of facilities at the Sir Syed Hostel and the administration promised that the best possible facilities would be extended to them soon. However, nothing has been done over the years and the boarders are finding themselves in a difficult condition.

The hostel offers unhygienic eatables. It has been running short of utensils and crockery and the staff hardly clean them properly during rush hours. No proper attention is being paid to clean the canteen premises properly.

Sources said food for boarders was being cooked without gas as the connection was disconnected a couple of months ago due to non-payment of dues. The students also face problems whenever someone visits them as the hostel has no guest room, TV lounge or common room. They often take their guests to Abdullahpur to entertain them.

A boarder said on the request of anonymity that living in the small stuffy rooms in summer was just like living in hell. "We have put across our concerns many times, but the administration responds by threatening a complainant that he will be shifted."

He said the rooms were in bad shape and the administration held the boarders responsible for their maintenance.

Hostel supervisor Ijaz Farooq admitted that the boarders had been facing problems, but said a survey had been conducted and a development project, requiring Rs2.5 million, would soon take off and the hostel would be equipped with facilities.
By Muhammad Saleem (Dawn)
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