As MHRD stops funds, govt mulls to shift SSA schools in its buildings

TNN Bureau. Updated: 7/20/2019 11:49:00 AM Front Page

JAMMU: Aiming to cover-up its failure, state government now mulls to shift schools operating in rented buildings under centrally sponsored scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to government buildings as Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) refused the funds for payment of rent.

MHRD has refused to allocate funds for another consecutive year under the scheme citing poor performance of the state government to achieve the target of civil works.

“The state government has miserably failed to complete the construction work of school buildings sanctioned under SSA since 2006,” an official said.

“The construction works couldn’t be taken up because of several reasons including cost escalation and backing tracking of contractors,” he said and added, “Since the inception of SSA scheme in Jammu and Kashmir, state government received a target of around 12000 school buildings out of which only 9000 buildings have been completed while the rest are pending”.

The MHRD’s decision came to fore at the time when state government has been grappling to pay rent from past four years against the buildings taken by department to run its schools.

“In the absence of permanent infrastructure, the majority of schools under SSA are operating in rented buildings and earlier union government used to pay the rent of buildings but the same has been stopped after the state failed to achieve the targets,” another official informed.

“Due to non availability of funds, a huge liability of rent has piled up on the education department against the accommodations hired to run the erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) schools in Jammu and Kashmir,” an official said.

“MHRD use to provide Rs 2000 as rent component for each school per month. The rent was provided with a condition that the education department will complete the permanent campus of the schools within two years but department has miserably failed,” they said.

The inordinate delay by the department to complete the construction of school buildings over past 10 years fumed the MHRD which refused to pay the rent for the schools.

Confirming the information, Director SSA Arun Manhas said “The state government will write to MHRD for shifting of schools.”

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