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Thursday June 13, 2024

Bhara Kahu Bypass: Quaideen proposes alternative route without dividing QAU’s land

By Rasheed Khalid
November 28, 2022

Islamabad: Alumni Association, also known as Quaideen, Quaid-i-Azam University, has demanded changing the location of the Bhara Kahu Bypass Project if construction of a Flyover on the Murree Road seems to be difficult due to cost and pressure of shopkeepers and a security outfit having its building on it.

The 3.5 kilometre 4-lane flyover project submitted by National Highway Authority in April 2021 had already been approved by Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (PEPA) but the government and CDA chose to ignore it.

Elaborating on this, Murtaza Noor, Secretary-General of Quaideen talking to 'The News', said that the existing bypass project should be started from Green Bus Terminal instead of Malpur, and using a small tract of QAU land going to Bokhari Road in the north of Murree Road can connect it with the existing 600-feet wide bypass location from where it can enter into Bhara Kahu crossing Shahdara Nullah at Kiani Road. The alumni official said that it would consume some land of QAU which CDA can easily compensate from some other adjoining piece of land. He stressed that this alternate route does not bifurcate the university territory and is a sensible option.

The Campus Community also favours this Green Terminal to Bokhari-Kiani Roads route. In the meantime, the core committee of the QAU Alumni Association in its emergent meeting expressed serious reservations about ignoring the concerns of QAU faculty, alumni, employees, students, and other stakeholders on the Bhara Kahu Bypass Project started on QAU land in September this year. The project, if allowed to continue, will effectively split the university’s land into two non-communicating parts.

The committee reviewed the situation. In the light of continued contacts and discussions with the President, of the Academic Staff Association, it was pointed out that QAU, being a prestigious higher education institution of Pakistan, has been ranked continuously among the top 500 higher education institutions in the world by Times Higher Education and other reputed global ranking agencies.

But, instead of declaring it a flagship institution through the provision of required financial resources and resolving long pending land encroachment issues, its precious land is being further possessed for a new project without addressing the apprehensions of the concerned stakeholders.

The core committee decided that like the previous occasions, the Quaideen will protect the precious land of alma mater in close coordination with all the stakeholders including ASA and no compromise would be made in this regard. They fully supported the legal stance of QAU faculty at Islamabad High Court and vowed to play an effective and important role to protect legitimate interests and the land of their alma mater.

The participants of the emergent meeting said that in 1967, 1709 acres of land was allotted to the university but so far an estimated 450 acres of precious land had not been completely handed over to the university due to illegal encroachments.

Instead of addressing the decades-old pending issues of demarcation of QAU land, handing over of complete 1709 acres, completion of the QAU boundary wall, and end of illegal encroachments, another project was started by Capital Development Authority (CDA) without addressing the serious concerns of the stakeholders and without obtaining NOC from PEPA.

They demanded the Prime Minister of Pakistan review the decision and the route of the bypass should be changed by protecting QAU land. The alumni, across the globe, would continue to raise its voice to protect prestigious and top-ranked federal higher education institutions and will monitor the situation closely. They hoped that the Federal Government and concerned authorities would immediately address the genuine concerns raised by the stakeholders of Quaid-i-Azam University.