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Panjab University staff quarters no one’s baby

While a Rs 12-lakh renovation was carried out at the V-C’s house in 2012, another Rs 11 lakh were spent on revamping the registrar’s house in 2014.

punjab Updated: Jul 19, 2018 12:19 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University,punjab,punjab news
Apartments of the non-teaching staff in a state of neglect on the Panjab University campus in Chandigarh. Their occupants have written to the registrar, seeking renovation. (HT Photo)

Even as the Panjab University has spent Rs 23 lakh on renovating the official accommodations of the vice-chancellor (V-C) and registrar in the past six years, the employees’ quarters housing thousands continue to be in a state of neglect.

While a Rs 12-lakh renovation was carried out at the V-C’s house in 2012, another Rs 11 lakh were spent on revamping the registrar’s house in 2014.

The employees recently wrote to the registrar, the dean of university instruction (DUI), among other officials, to turn attention to their quarters that are in urgent need of repair.

There are a total of 1,645 residential units of various sizes on the university campus in Sectors 14 and 25.

President of Panjab University Staff Association (PUSA), Deepak Kaushik, said, “In Blocks A to D, the C-Class employees have been allotted houses that were built in the late 1950s. Since then, the buildings have undergone no major renovation. Consequently, the walls have become weak over time, and water seeps through the roof whenever it rains.”

“Worse, every time something goes amiss, employees have to pay for repairs from their pocket,” he added.

On his part, RK Rai, executive engineer (XEN), construction office, PU, said, “Repair work is carried out from time to time as per requirement.”

The XEN added that they had already allotted a tender for fixing seepage in houses.

Rs 11 lakh spent on registrar’s house

The matter of renovating and furnishing the T1/11 house allotted to registrar Col GS Chadha (retd) was raised in 2014 when he joined the varsity. In a Syndicate meeting held in November 2014, it was questioned why there was a need of renovation and as per the appointment letter, the registrar was to be provided an unfurnished house.

V-C Arun Kumar Grover had then said the accommodation needed to be renovated up to a certain standard as the registrar was a special officer of the varsity.

While a committee was formed to look into the matter, Dr Harvansh Singh Judge, an alumnus of PU and a Canada-based dentist, made a donation of Rs 11 lakh specifically for “Panjab University’s registrar’s accommodation/furnishings”.

This received objections by syndics Ashok Goyal and HS Gosal in a December 2014 meeting on why it was being dictated to the varsity to spend the money on a specific purpose.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 12:16 IST