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February 2, 2015

Students facing accommodation problems


February 2, 2015

Students of Islamabad Model Postgraduate College H-8 are facing accommodation problems due to dilapidated condition of the hostel despite many requests to make it functional after renovation.
According to an official source the hostel was not functional due to non-payment of outstanding electricity and gas bills from the year 2000 till 2005.
The hostel was opened in the year 2005 due to mounting pressure of the students and once again closed after three years in 2008 on the pretext of its dilapidated condition. The hostel building is crumbling and broken down with falling plasters and cracks in the roofs. Stray dogs and pigs can be seen around the hostel while mother dogs are often seen feeding their newly born puppies.
Over 100 out of 2,000 enrolled students are from different areas of the country in the H-8 College and the vast majority is from underprivileged backgrounds. The closure of the hostel has forced at least 70 students of the college to live on rent outside the college.
The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) claimed that the hostel is now unfit for students’ settlement as it is in dilapidated state.
A professor of the college said the hostel was constructed in early 80’s and how is it possible that it is unfit for lodging. He added there are a large number of buildings in the capital which were constructed in late 60’s and early 70’s but they are in good condition.
Kamran from Diamer (GB) and a student of BA Part-I at Islamabad Model Postgraduate College H-8 said the state of H-8 college hostel reflect the level of seriousness of concerned authorities toward provision of better education facilities to the students.
Naveed Hussain, another H-8 college student of BA Part-I from Sukkur (Sindh), said we are five students from Sindh hired a house at Chatha Bakhtawar. We have suffered a lot in summer. The damped bathrooms served as breeding ground for mosquitoes. At night we spent more time in killing

cockroaches and mosquitoes than studying and we could not focus on studies. The college should provide us safe, secure and affordable accommodation.
Chakar Khan, a B.Com Part-I student from Kharan (Balochistan), said he is living in a shared room of a hostel situated in I-9 at a monthly rent of Rs8,000. The hostel has stinking toilets and bathrooms, dripping taps dirty and damp mess. Mostly students fall ill due to unhygienic conditions being witnessed at the hostel.
A student, Saddam Ali from Gojal Shimshal (GB) who is living in a private hostel at Peshawar Morr, alleged that the government was neglecting the welfare of students because it failed to provide lodging facilities to the students of northern areas. It has become very difficult for any outstation student in Islamabad to find lodging and we have no option but to arrange costly accommodation nearby, he said.
The cost for renting houses is high in Islamabad with a considerably good single room going for Rs15,000. The rents at nearby areas including I-8, Peshawar Morr, G-8 are going up with the passage of time.
Professor Mehmood Ali Khokher, Associate Professor and President of local unit (H-8) of Federal Government College Teachers Association, urged the government to consider the renovations of the hostel on war footing basis since students have suffered a lot. In the present security threats hostel within the college campus is safer than private accommodation. If students are provided hostel facility within the campus they can save travelling time for studies on one hand and feel protected among fellow friends on the other hand, he added.

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