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Nearly a decade on: Women’s degree college in Rawalpindi still incomplete

Nearly a decade on: Women’s degree college in Rawalpindi still incomplete

By Mudassir Raja

RAWALPINDI: Nearly a decade after work on the project started  the Government Degree College for Women in Saddar area of Rawalpindi remains incomplete, The Express Tribune has learnt.

With a semi-finished building, girls in the old  localities (mohallas) are forced to travel to other parts of the city to get education.

Work on the college on Police Station Road had begun in 2007.

Following demands by locals, Rawalpindi native Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who was the minister for railways back then, had managed to obtain eight Kanals of land from Pakistan Railways for the college. The college was estimated to cost around Rs40 million to build.

However, work on the college stalled after the change of government in 2008.

The building currently stands partially finished, with the flooring and eight classrooms completed. Some of the classes have white boards and fans installed but are otherwise bereft of any furniture. The entire building though, seems to have been forgotten by the government.

“There is no government college for thousands of girls in Saddar area,” said Khawar Butt, an area resident who has been protesting against the delays in completing the college.

He added that residents of Ahata Sheikh Fazal Ellahi, Movi Mohalla, Khazanchi Ahata, Koila Center, Babu Mohallah, Praim Gali, Fazal-e-Haq Galli, Ahata Mithu Khan, Ghandam Mandi, Bhusa Mandi, Police Station Road, Railway Road, and for Railway colony have to travel to other parts of the city to get an education.

The only other college for women in the area, Butt said, was operated by the federal directorate of educational institutions for cantonments and garrisons.

Other nearby colleges for women are also administered by the military authorities where 80 per cent of seats are reserved for children of military personnel.

Javaid Paracha, another area resident, complained that in addition to a lack of colleges for girls, the Punjab government had also moved three primary and secondary schools for girls out of Saddar. These schools had been moved since the buildings they were in were quite old and in a state of disrepair.

He added that in 2010, the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA from NA-55, Malik Shakeel Awan, promised some money to help complete the college, but the promise had yet to materialise.

Muhammad Imran, another local said that frustrated residents had staged a protest outside the college on December 9 demanding that the Punjab government complete it on priority basis.

He added that following their protest, local PML-N leaders had hung  a banner on the walls of the college building which read that a grant of Rs50 million had been approved to complete the project.

However, no official notification to that effect had been issued, Imran said.

Director of Colleges for Rawalpindi Division, Malik Muhammad Asghar, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

The Express Tribune


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