Saturday, April 24, 2010

Power Crises Damaging Research Programs in Qaud-e-Azam University

Taking serious notice of frequent power outages, the Academic Staff Association (ASA) of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has warned that if the problem was not resolved immediately, faculty members would be left with no choice but to agitate.

The warning was issued through a unanimous resolution passed in a recent executive council meeting of the ASA. The members complained that all academic and research activities have come to a standstill due to electricity loadshedding.

It urged the QAU and Higher Education Commission authorities to influence Iesco to exempt the university from loadshedding as had been done in other educational institutions like Punjab University, International Islamic University and National University of Sciences and Technology.

Frequent breakdowns delay the experiments in many departments. In the departments of chemistry, plant sciences, animal sciences, microbiology, biochemistry and biotechnology costly chemicals and material go waste. In some cases, appliances and equipment also got destroyed or damaged. The university had to install generators in many laboratories where experiments sometimes take days to complete.

The other day, students staged a protest demonstration at the administration block to press their demands like improvement in hostel conditions and canteens but one of their major complaints was the menace of loadshedding which interrupted their studies. In this age of multimedia and other educational aids, QAU, ranked No 1 university of the country by HEC and second in the Muslim world, is facing problems in imparting education to its students because of wrong policies of rulers who did not install a single power plant in the country in 12 years after 1996.

In the early years, QAU had its power connection from the Islamabad Club grid station through underground cables but later the link was shifted to Bhara Kahu grid via overhead wires. Whenever there was dust storm, the cable link was disrupted due to falling of cables, polls or trees which took hours to repair. Being a green area, QAU was in darkness while nearby shining dhokes and villages like Barri Imam and Narhel bustled with activity. This still happens during harsh weather.

Bhara Kahu grid being a rural station was subjected to greater loadshedding hours and the urban area of QAU became a victim of this added problem which was like rubbing salt on its wounds.

It was due to this menace that QAU decided to have a power link from the grid station inside Diplomatic Enclave through underground link. With a lot of efforts, the university managed to get and pay a demand note of Rs22 million to Iesco in 2007. According to reports Iesco dug out the trench for the purpose but a row with CDA not allowing it to pass the cables through roads operated by the civic body has stalled the process.

The Campus community is facing the music due to fight between two departments of the Federal Metropolis.

The ASA reiterated that the university authorities should actively pursue the pending issue of electricity supply from the Diplomatic Enclave.

No comments:

Post a Comment