It is reported that the government is planning to scrutinise Kashmir University’s accounts after financial irregularities being alleged against it 10 years ago during the purchase of land for the new campuses.
The Kashmir University bought 300 kanals land for its campus at Zakura Srinagar for 20 lakh rupees per kanal in 2009 while, in fact, the actual rate of the land as per the revenue records was 4 lakh per kanal. CAG revealed that the University of Kashmir marked 300 kanals land at Zakura Srinagar which is located in the vicinity of the main university campus.
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between KU and JK Bank which was the attorney holder of the 300 kanals of land. The landowners had reportedly permitted the JK bank to sell their land to the University of Kashmir in order to sustain their loan accounts. Later, the University of Kashmir finalised to buy the 300 kanals of land for the price of 20 lakh per kanal, with a final amount of 56.86 crore rupees at that time. Reports inform that the University sanctioned loan of 52.97 crore rupees from JK Bank. The condition of this loan amount was the loan payment shall be repaid within one year.
Sources say that at that time, there were discussions held that the land purchased was not regular or sharing border but somehow, the plan was executed. Moreover, the state revenue department was completely unaware of the transaction which should have been under the Land Acquisition Act.
The total amount spent on this deal was 71.73 crore rupees including around 56 crore as the original cost of the land and more than 11 crore as an interest to the loan taken from JK bank.
The government had to pay a humongous amount for the purchase of land which, otherwise, could have been a low-key affair. The cost was compounded by the loan taken. University administration’s inefficiency in not checking the market price has cost the government heavily. If this deal would have been made at the market price, many crore rupees of taxpayers’ money.