Islamabad-Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology (FUUAST) has finally started the construction of its own building after 15 years of establishment of its campus in the city, The Nation learned on Friday.

The FUUAST’s federal city campus was established in 2003 after the inception of the university at Karachi in 2002. Since then the university was catering to thousands of students in a rented building.

An official talking to The Nation said that the university administration has finally laid the foundation stone of the building of the campus and construction work is underway.

Official informed that so far the contractor has completed four blocks of the university and the building is being constructed on the same land which was purchased earlier.

The university had purchased the land for campus building in Chak Shehzad, however the construction work was not started as the university administration has not purchased the access land for the university campus.  The official said that university had purchased 80kanal piece of land at Kuri road however, failed in starting the construction work on the land due to alleged maladministration and irregularities in the deal.  Official said that the university administration had paid above Rs 50million and purchased the land from Capital Development Authority (CDA) in 2010.

Official added that Higher Education Commission (HEC) had approved the project of establishing the FUUAST Islamabad’s campus and allocated Rs800million for it. The HEC had released RS80million to start the construction work of the building.

However HEC refused to release further amount after gross irregularities were reported in the financial matters of the university, said official.

The university also faced severe administrative crises when the tug of war between numbers of candidates started for the top position of the campus.

The AGP document available with The Nation had declared purchase of the land as unjustified, indicating irregularities in the deal. The document said that the university entered into agreement on October 20, 2009 for purchase of 80 kanals of agriculture land in Moza Mohrian at the rate of Rs650,000 per kanal. The total price of the land was Rs52 million.

According to the agreement, the university would use the link road which would be built within 3 to 6 months and ten per cent of the total amount shall be retained by the university in anticipation of satisfaction of having the possession of the 80 kanals of compact piece of land. The audit observed that the land had been purchased without having the contract vetted by the law and finance divisions. The piece of land for access road leading up to the site was not yet acquired by the university because of which the site was not accessible, it observed.

The university management had also not approached the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for procurement of the land, the audit noted.

The audit also observed that purchase of the land and hiring of the firm indicated favouritism and the expenditure incurred was unjustified and irregular.

The university administration in its reply to the audit stated that the piece of land for access of road leading up to the site had been acquired but the link road had been damaged due to the rains. The official added that due-to non –availability of university’s own building the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) had also refused the accreditation of the engineering departments of the campus.  And students had protested multiple times against the university administration.   The PEC had demanded from the university to establish the engineering labs as per standards of the PEC in a proper university building.

The university was functional in a building owned by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), and the department had also sent a notice to vacate its building when the differences emerged between university and WAPDA on increasing the rent.

The campus in-charge FUUAST Dr. Aurangzeb talking to The Nation said that 33percent construction work of the building has been completed and the whole construction will be completed in 2020. He said that the issue of the link road has been also resolved and now there is no issue of access to the university campus.  He said initially nine departments are being constructed for more than 5000 students of the university enrolled in BS, MS and PhD programs. He said likely the construction will be completed earlier than 2020.