LAHORE - The Punjab Higher Education department has directed the colleges administration to get their premises vacated of the encroachments and illegal occupation of their land. The directives precipitated reports of illegal occupation of premises in a number of colleges particularly the premier institutions handed over to the Auqaf after partition, which was responsible for maintenance of Hindu property. Islamia College Civil Lines, Islamia College Railway Road, Government MAO College, Islamia College for Women Cooper Road, former FC College which is now a private chartered university and colleges now under the control of Anjuman Himayat-e-Islam Anjuman-e-Islamia etc are worst encroached. A number of schools in various districts of the province have also been encroached upon by the qabza groups and former employees of these educational institutions. The land illegally occupied is measured upto several acres. In some of the colleges, the land group have built houses, mosques and got them declared clandestinely katchi abadis thus building socio-political pressure on the department and the college administration to get their land vacated as all attempts to get their land vacated have gone waste. In MAO College, a piece of land measuring two kanal and two marla within the main compound of the college have been encroached by the land group since years, where houses and a mosque has been built. The college has 48 kanal land and 60 classrooms for 13,000 students, which badly needed the land for construction of new class rooms. The land mafia has succeeded to get it declared katchi abadi. Former Governor Punjab Khalid Maqbool had once asked for vacation of this land but in vain. The Planning & Development Division in its master plan wanted to build admin block and classrooms at this piece of land but it never happened. It asked DCO to get the land vacated and is still pursuing for vacation. Recently the residents started constructing doors and windows to get exit into the college compound creating nuisance in the class rooms particularly the girls section. The Principal Prof Irfan Hussain Zaidi has reported the matter to the area police saying that the peaceful atmosphere of the college would disturb. Moreover, the college was short of classrooms because of increase in the enrolment and it needed more land for classrooms and parking. The MAO College premises were transferred to the Punjab Government in 1985 by the Auqaf through a notification, while the land group started encroaching the land in 1982. There was no justification of encroaching the land considering it a Waqaf property. The encroachers were mostly the former college employees. Parts of the 71 kanal Chauburji Ground of the college have also been encroached upon for which the principal has proceeded against the encroachers to get the land vacated. The Chaurburji Ground can be used for construction of second campus of the College, which is one of the six colleges in the City selected for launching BS (Hons) programme in various subjects of Science and Arts.