Environmental Issues in University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila

Saad Iqbal | 🗓️Modified: December 9, 2013 | ⏳Read Time: 15 min | 👁Post Views: 127

University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, situated at approximately 40 km from twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, had received its charter as an independent University in October 1993, prior to which it was the campus of University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, occupying the land of Sahiwal as its first temporary destination after which it was shifted to its permanent destination of Taxila, the ancient, historical icon of Pakistan.

University of engineering and technology, Taxila

The simple yet eye-catching departments, administrative blocks, mosques, markets, hostel blocks, laboratories, library, cafeterias and bus stand constitutes the campus of University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila. The University Buses meets departure and arrival daily taking numbers of students from all around the cities of Rawalpindi, Wah Cantt and Islamabad. This first ever institution of its own type in Taxila covers an area of 163 acres.
University, an educational institution in any country or city is considered as a socio-economic and cultural center or hub. UET, also servers this purpose thus has a significant impact on the environment of the city.

While leaving the hustle and bustle of Rawalpindi, Islamabad you feel a significant change in your surroundings regarding, traffic volume, the sound of horns of vehicles, construction machinery, cranes, rollers and timber market around the roads, engineering societies being developed in the locality, world class level Multi-Garden Sector of Islamabad, heavy vehicles transporting goods, construction materials like aggregates, bricks cements, cement factories, beverage factories, flour mills and then from Taxila by-pass you enter the Taxila Cantt, leaving the main Taxila Bazar near Wah Cantt, Gate, you saw crushers, eating and crushing the aggregates from the mountains on your left side, trucks transporting them along with the dust clouds and a voice of Blasting after every hour or so, then you enter the surroundings of UET, Taxila after crossing Taxila By-Pass, surrounding by the green lush fields the local road is marked by tall green waving trees of Safaida, you see the ancient Dhara Mara Chiga Stupa, Taxila Museum, Remainings of Sirkup is enough for you to understand how ancient and civilized this locality is.
In this environmental Impact report for university of engineering and technology our main concern would be on following areas;

•    Water supply and Sewerage Systems
•    Soild Waste Management
•    Air Quality – Indoor And Out door
•    Noise Level
•    Cultural Environment
•    Religious Environment
•    Socio-Economic
•    Landscape
•    Flora and Fauna
•    New Development

Water Supply and Sewerage System

Importance of water can never be neglected as far as the sustainability of life is concerned. UET, Taxila water supply scheme is taking care of all the departments including electrical, mechanical, civil, telecom, IT department, besides these administrative buildings, mosques, library, cafeteria, laboratories, hostels, faculty houses and worker houses. Major share of this water supply scheme is being consumed by residential buildings and as the city is not as much developed comparatively as other cities of Pakistan, this water is sometimes the major problem for university especially in summers.
Water supply scheme of university consists of a well – planned central over-head water tank, and high power tube wells one beside the computer/software department, and water-treatment and filtration plant is there.
With the increase in the no. of students and faculty this water supply scheme needs expansion and increment in the storage capacity, for this new water reservoirs need to be explored and inputs of them needs to be included in the main streamline supply. For this Underground water can also be used by using auger boring techniques etc.
The problem of water availability is mostly faced by students residing in the hostels, because of shortage of water; there are lines of students in the morning waiting for their turn in the washrooms. Sometimes the motor get out of order and thus they need to live without water for a long time as well; for this proper backup system must be developed so as to shift the burden on the parallel water supply schemes.
Sewerage system of University is not up to the mark, in the central portion of the university, this is not such a big problem, the washrooms, and toilets are properly cleaned and maintained by the cleaning staff of university. Major problems are within hostels where students face problems like blockage of gutters etc, making the toilets useless. Thus, proper cleaning and maintenance is required.

 Solid Waste Management

The major portion of the waste is being shared by solid waste here in university, because the university houses hundreds of humans this justifies the reason of the increased production of solid waste. Solid waste of the university besides sewerage waste includes papers, tins, cans, shopping bags, wrappers, straws and toxic chemicals as well from the laboratories like silica, sulphur, waste concrete etc as well. University has Dustbins written with “Use Me” as caption to invite students, faculty and staff to throw the waste in it; but as a nation we are not that much responsible and caring to throw them in always; the societies in the university like Environmental Protection Society is working to encourage the proper disposal and recycling of solid waste and on the same grounds increasing the awareness among students and faculty to dispose off the waste properly.
The waste from the hostels, residential buildings and departments is not properly disposed off it is open dumped which is totally against the law and environmental ethics; thus there is a need for proper disposal site to be constructed;  so as to eliminate the open dumping and throwing the waste in the near bear streams as is done now a days.

Air Quality – Indoor And Out door

Air quality of the university and the city is being damaged by the nearby crushers and stone workers and nearby cement factory and flour mills, spreading dust particles, hazardous gases etc. Air quality of University is maintained by the trees and the grassy lawns along with the esthetic plants being planted in the university. The bus stand is the most dusty place of university which is not even cemented yet; the buses when runs over spreads a lot of dust causing problems for students.
In the departments especially in civil engineering laboratories and environmental engineering laboratories the use of toxic chemicals, burning of bitumen, burning of sulfur for concrete caping, dust of sand and soil, damages the indoor air quality significantly which must be checked and the effect of these factors must be diluted so as to create a healthy environment for the students to work in.

Noise Level

Although some times this factor can’t be eliminated completely but yet it is very important factor for any educational and health facility. In UET, the departments have their parking areas very near and thus the horn and sounds of car engines create problems some times. Similarly buses were first used to crawl in front of the departments while leaving; this has been checked and now the buses have provided the proper separate path to use while departure.
One very astonishing feature in the noise level of university is the blasting sound you usually listen due to the near aggregate quarries behind the main university campus. Use of Grass cutting machines and tankers to water the grass and plants sometimes causes irritation among students while studying.
One very important factor creating noise pollution in the departments is the machineries being used especially in mechanical and civil department; the use of machines for testing of materials; their strength etc. always include breaking of a high strength steel or concrete or any other metal or alloy which produces very etching effects and produces echo and behavioral changes in the staff and students.
One very common example one can observe is in the library; although library is meant to be a silent and reading spot; but few months back when someone enters in the library the echo produced from the steps of the person creates very bad effect in the students studying; but now the use of sound absorbers like partitioning and carpeting of floors have ultimately helped to create a good learning silent environment there.
  Laboratories can be shifted or constructed at a distant far off of the main departments so as to avoid such factors, parking area must also be at a distant far off from the department. Use of machineries for cutting of grass etc must be avoided near the peak working hours.

Cultural Environment

UET, Taxila, can be treated as a cultural hub of Punjab, Pakistan. Giving chances to all the students from around the world like Afghanistan, Jordan etc. and on the same trend from all the province of Punjab and other Provinces as well. UET is much diversified as far as cultural environment is concerned. You will see different peoples of different languages, different colors, castes, religions and nationalities working hard to uplift the standard of not only their lives but the life of other humans as well.
When UET, Taxila was not there, no one might have imagined such a cultural fusion to be there living in Taxila, similarly because of being its locality in an ancient, civilized culture of Taxila, UET, get significant importance in this respect as well.
People visiting the university get amused on how among such a rich ancient heritage, there is a top level public university equipped with all modern techniques of engineering and technology.
One will feel pleasure to see cultural events and occasions like spring festival etc.

Religious Environment

Majority of People in UET, being Muslims thus we see rich religious environment there as well. There are prayer halls in the university departments and in hostels as well; beside this there is a fully functional, modern and stylish building of Central Mosque, along with other small Mosques in the locality of University. The different Schools of Thoughts of Islam being practiced here and no such religious extremism is being noticed in the campus; ever one is free to practice his/her own religion or believes. 
Because of rich cultural environment of university, there are also persons from different religions like Hinduism, Christianity etc. And they are free to celebrate their religious event or occasions like Muslims do.
One can easily see in university, although co-education but very strict as far as interaction between girls and boys is concerned. Violation of any social ethics is being penalized by the university administration. Similarly the gender equality is being taught by Islam, is being seen in practical as girls being taking part in relatively tough fields like mechanical, civil engineering etc.
But sometimes there are also clash being observed among modest and modern thoughts in the society; one very common example is the strike being done by the students to let them celebrate their religious days like “Yom-e-Husaain” etc. Students having viewpoint that if University administration can allow celebration of events like concerts and “Valentine Day” they must allow us to celebrate these Islamic Occasions as well; and university administration having viewpoint that such events might cause religious clash among different school of thoughts.
The Religious Harmony should be practiced no matter what ever the occasion is; one must feel safe to practice his own religion in his own domain; without disturbing the religious believes and religious morals of others. For this university administration must come forward to have a systematic plan to check any inconvenience regarding this matter.


One of the very important impacts university has on the environment is socio-economic impact. The local inhabitants of the region have got chance to get employment there; and not only this the Taxila region also has a separate Quota for the students to get educated in the university.
Students coming from other cities get a chance to know about Taxila and similarly the inhabitants of Taxila get a chance to meet students and peoples of different languages, origins, caste and colors. So in this way UET can be taken as a medium to let others meet and do something productive.
The grant which university has along with the dues that is being charged on the students let the locality to uplift its standard economically and socially. Thus we see the bazaars near Taxila Bus stop which is very near to UET, and other dhabas on the gate of UET, and a market being developed at the gate no. 2 of university.
The foreign students get a chance to know about Pakistan, their people and their culture and thus university is acting like a ambassador of Pakistan spreading its rich culture and heritage.
 University acts like an important icon as far as the economic standard of the locality is concerned. Students, faculty and other staff from other parts of the country bring money and economic growth to the region.
UET, Taxila is surrounding by a very eye-catching landscape consisting of mountains and green lush fields and tress spreading fragrance and cold shadows. The area which is covered by UET, Taxila was mostly barren land of no use; there were trees and vast grassy land that is now being developed into a planned city in its own.
In winters and during rainy seasons the sky kissing mountains at the back of UET looks adorable. But the aggregate crushers are removing this beauty from the region. In UET, Taxila every year the planting schemes and ceremonies are conducted to encourage the rich green environment in the university. The lawn designing competition being held in university helps in uplifting the landscaping standard. UET has proper staff that is taking care of cutting the grass and useless branches to enhance the aesthetics of the campus.
Departments have beautiful lawns which are covered by high dense green trees along with colorful, sweet fragrance flowers of various ornamental classes etc.
There are still a lot of regions that is being neglected as far as landscaping is concerned; like the land near the cafeteria and the land near the mosque need much improvement in the landscaping. Although the Gardening staff is doing its best to ensure the proper maintenance of the landscape but still many areas are ignored and we saw a lot of grass being scattered and out of order.

Flora and Fauna

Because of the very rich landscape of UET, you can see a lot of varieties of flowers, roses etc, trees of various origins, green lush grass of various types. Because of all these reasons birds of various species can be seen in the university living happily, along with wild dogs and cats that can be seen even in the mess hall as well.
Although these wild animals shows how healthy the environment is for life but still sometimes they causes problems, thus there must be proper planned nurseries for them where they can live without damaging the life of humans or disturbing them.
New Development
Although in UET, the facilities are very sufficient but with the increase in no. of students, departments, faculty, staff, there is need of new hostels and faculty hostels, along with new buildings for separate classes of new departments. Like in Mechanical engineering, the industrial engineering department is using the class rooms of mechanical engineering; same is the case for electronics and environmental engineering classes.
UET, Taxila needs new auditorium, because the conference hall is not sufficient to house large no. of visitors or participants. In Past few years the infrastructure of university has build enormously, new Cafeteria, new department of Telecommunication, improvement in the library interior, new multipurpose hall or gymnasium are among some new developed buildings in the university campus.
But still there is a need of management department, new hostel for boys as the new comers are not getting housing in the already build hostels, improvements in water supply scheme of university.

Conclusion and Recommendation

University of Engineering and Technology, is really a nice place to study in. Facilities are up to the mark but still much improvement in maintenance work is needed. The administration needs to take care of campus problems and building and works department must make sure to control all the infrastructure and facilities in the campus, all the problems like water shortage, power shortage, residence problems for the students, solid waste disposal must be checked in so as to uplift the standard of university along with creating a healthy environment where human brain can think openly and can be productive in the same manner as well.


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