KHANEWAL-Established 18 years ago, the Degree College for Boys in Khanewal is still on the tenterhooks for the revenue grant which is released soon after the establishment of an educational institution by the government, it is learnt.

In 1995, the government had to release the grant of Rs0.8 million meant for the purchase of furniture, science instruments etc but the cost of these goods has risen to Rs7.3 million, said the college administration.

The college was established in 1995 by the then Punjab government at a half-century old-bungalow and then shifted to its own building in 2001. All the government educational institutes are awarded two types of grants namely capital grant which is utilised for infrastructure and revenue grant which is meant mainly for establishment of laboratory, library, purchase of furniture and other related items.

The construction work was completed in 2001 and the college shifted to its own building in the south of city along Railway track. Meantime, the local government system was introduced and the colleges’ affaires came under the domain of local governments. It was again realised by the Musharraf-led government that colleges must remain within the domain of provinces and Higher Education Department was set up in 2006 for the purpose.

The revenue grant is issued once to a newly established college/institute. Rs812,000 revenue grant was also allocated in the first PC-1 by Punjab government for the Khanewal college located in Abdul Hakeem Town but the grant could not be released as the college was established in a private building. Under the Govt of Punjab policy, this grant is issued only to those colleges which are set up in government-owned buildings, said the first principal of the college, Muhammad Yaqub, who is now the principal of Degree College Mian Channu. “We have repeated wrote to the higher authorities for the issuance of the grant but to no avail,” regretted incumbent principal of the college Syed Imtiaz Hussain.

In 2009, again the PC-1 for the same grant was prepared containing the same items of science laboratory and furniture whose prices have now risen to Rs7.3million. Then commissioner of Multan Muhammad Ali Gardezi gave administrative approval to the grant and referred it the higher authorities for approval, said the principal.  The Punjab govt then issued a list of the colleges which were awarded such grants and the list contained the name of Govt Degree College for Women Abdul Hakeem instead of Govt Degree College for Boys Abdul Hakeem.

The boys’ college administration presumed that surely it was a mistake as the newly established Degree College for Women had already received its revenue grant in 2009. The college reacted but the grant was given to a new college in Hafizabad on the request of an MPA of the area.

To find out the real situation, the principal along with District Officer Colleges Jahangir visited the official concerned in the Higher Education Department in 2010 and were told that the scheme for the affected college as in PC-1 stands complete in the record of Annual Development Programme.  Now, the college is being run with the support of philanthropists. The furniture was arranged by the college from its own sources, said lecturer Arif Habib Khan, who was literally seen working with a spade in his hands while instructing and taming college workers (gardeners, watchmen, sweeper) in maintaining plots, greenery, sports ground and horticulture.

Likewise, necessary lab equipments being utilised by the boys college in science laboratories were donated by the management of a local power plant years ago. “Due to lack of funds, the students are forced to study under open sky even in winter and summer,” he said. “Therefore, students and their parents do not prefer the college for studying.” The principal demanded that the Punjab chief minister should look into the matter and order for early release of the revenue grant for the college.