Metro project to Jamia Nagar hits a roadblock?
OT, August 4, 2012 18:11 IST
Okhla Times Reporter/Okhla
The proposed metro project in Jamia Nagar via central university Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is at the centre of controversy after report surfaced that the university is allegedly opposed to it.
Just a few days after works started on the campus, Indian Express ran a report saying: “Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid has contended that the Jamia Metro station could prove to be a security threat and ‘spoil the sanctity’ of the institute.”
The report has also mentioned that the development has deeply upset Okhla MLA Asif Md Khan. The report quotes somebody from the Jamia Old Boys Club that doesn't exist on the campus or anywhere.
OKHLA TIMES spoke to the MLA to know the real story and he said: “This morning I had a long conversation with Vice Chancellor and he told me that in no way the university is opposed to the metro project. Somebody is misleading the media.”
If that is so then why has not the university given a rebuttal in the daily regarding the misleading report?
Khan said that before talking to the VC he had also a feeling that the university was opposing the metro project. “A reporter spoke to me and I told him that I will oppose such a move tooth and nail. But now when the fact has come out I am with the VC who has requested the Metro authorities not to have a station in the lawn of Jamia Middle School. The VC told me that he wants the station to be moved to Tikona Park. Also, he was willing to share with me the letters posted to the authorities.”
When asked why the university didn’t oppose the proposal in earlier stage when several meetings between officials and authorities were held, Khan said the officials must not be aware of this fact. But sources point out that before giving a green signal to any project government officials discuss the issues in detail with the officials.
For many it makes no sense that why the university has created hurdle that too at the last moment when work has started.
“Something is terribly wrong and I don’t understand why the authorities are raising this issue at the last moment. We all want that JMI sanctity and its security is not violated but at the same time the laying of metro lines is crucial for the development of some half a million people living in the locality,” said Javed Iqbal Khan, RLD Delhi Pradesh general secretary.
It is understood university officials had also requested the authorities to have an underground metro station in JMI so that its elevation was not hit.
Javed said: “I can understand the authorities’ concern who had asked for an underground metro station in JMI. But if it has not happened so then let us accept the project as it is and work should not be delayed. Same time university authorities should try to convince the Metro for removing the station from Jamia Middle School to Tikona Park.”
Local leader Amanatullah Khan said metro project is extremely important for the development of the locality.
The metro that is expected to be operational by 2015 will have its track laid on the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar road (JMI), Batla House and Jamia Nagar. It will be further linked to Mathura Road and South Delhi.
However, JMI alumnus and Okhla resident Asad Haider Zaidi said: “See... it is true the looks (of the university) would be disturbed if it goes right on the main road. If the station is near Ishwar Nagar and Okhla Vihar, I don't think it would affect law and order problem. As it is not much law is enforced on Jamia’s roads! It is up to university authorities to weigh the pros and cons and have an open mind before reaching any conclusion. Many students in my time used to travel from different corners of the city... Metro will make things easier for many students.”
All said, it is nearly impossible for the plan to change now, said a source.
It is understood that authorities and local leaders might approach the chief minister and other high authorities to shift the station from Jamia Middle School. The coming days would decide whether the project will be finalized on time or may get extended further after getting embroiled in minor hitches.
PHOTO CAPTION: Metro project works begin at JMI