A total of 2,200 female students of Government Murray College Sialkot are facing residential problems due to unavailability of a hostel for girls.

The students belonging to far-off areas of Sialkot district were forced to live in rented houses during their academic sessions at Murray College, because they have no other option than to reside in the local rented places. Several perturbed students said that residing on rent in local houses was much costly and now has become unaffordable for them, as they had to bear Rs4,000 to Rs5,000 per month as extra expenditures. The parents of the female students have also expressed grave concern over the critical situation and urged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to ensure early establishment of girls’ hostel at the college.

Established during British rule in 1889, the college has been the alma mater of Allama Iqbal (the poet of the East) and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. The college had never had any hostel for girls since its establishment. It has been waiting for establishment of a females’ hostel for 124 years.

Talking to the newsman, Prof Javaid Akhtar Billah, the principal, urged the Punjab government to make College a center of excellence, besides granting it the degree awarding status. He said the college lacked classrooms as well. There was no furniture in these classrooms due to which the students and teachers suffer great ordeal, he added.

The principal added that there were only eight classrooms for more than 5,000 students. He said that the Punjab government should also establish a campus of the college after giving it the university status. He said 200 acres of government land was available at village Ladhar near Sialkot for establishment of Murray College’s another campus.