51 retired academics, staffers continue to illegally live in KU houses

A senior professor of the history department who shifted to Canada last year has rented out his house to outsiders

Even after receiving eviction notices, a total of 51 retired academics and officers are illegally residing inside the University of Karachi (KU).

Some of those teachers and officers have also rented out the university property to other people while others have handed their houses over to their relatives. They are also utilising the university property without paying charges for facilities such as electricity and gas.

According to a list issued by the KU Estate Office, 24 of the illegal occupants are retired professors and the remaining include retired librarians, lab assistants, directors and other former officers.

Some of these retired professors and employees had completed their services six to eight years ago. Of them, two have also applied for the position of the permanent vice chancellor of the KU. The houses inside the varsity are for serving academics and staff members, which means that they have to evict them upon retirement.

A senior professor of the history department who shifted to Canada last year has rented out his house to outsiders. Although the varsity has issued the eviction notice to the tenants, they continue to live in the house.

Likewise, a member of the Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS), whose wife is also a faculty member at the KU, acquired a house inside the campus and handed that over to his sister. Meanwhile, the couple have also been receiving house rent from the varsity.

According to the rules, those who are residing inside the campus are to have Rs23,000 deducted from their salaries. Another teacher who is an active member of the Karachi University Teachers Forum acquired a house from the varsity and later rented it out to another employee. One of the illegal occupants has been absconding from the varsity but interestingly he is a resident of one of its houses.

The KUTS president, Prof Dr Shah Ali Ul Qader, told The News that these occupants were illegally staying in houses of 400 to 1,000 square yards, for which the minimum monthly rent in the city was Rs50,000.

He explained that these 51 occupants were causing a monthly loss of around Rs2.5 million to the KU in the account of rent only with other expenses such as payment of utility bills not taken into account.

Prof Qader said that the university should expel these occupants so that deserving faculty members could reside on campus. An officer of the KU, however, said that the university had already issued notices to the non-teaching staffers for eviction of illegally-occupied houses. Once the notice period had lapsed, the university would appoint an investigation officer to sort out the matter, he explained.

He said that the KU syndicate had already passed a resolution about the retired professors still residing in the varsity houses. The resolution declared that no university house be used by a retired professor after the completion of service. He added that the varsity would soon consult legal officers to deal with such retired professors as per the University Act.