Model school program yet to take off in JK
Rs 25 Crore Unutilized; Govt Says Cost Ceiling Problem
Srinagar, Apr 12: An ambitious program of Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) for setting up model schools is yet to take off in Jammu and Kashmir due to sluggish approach of the state government and its failure in bearing the additional expenditure.
Although Centre had approved construction of 19 model schools in Jammu and Kashmir under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) scheme in 2009, but till date the program is yet to be implemented in the state.
The MHRD vide its order 25/1-2009 –Sch. 1, dated November 27, 2009 gave nod to the setting up of model schools- with infrastructure and facilities of the same standard as in a Kendriya Vidyala- in Breng, Dachanpora, Sumbal, Pattan, Zainageer, Khag, Lar, Kulgam, Qaimoh, Ramhal, Kralpora, Mendhar, Kakapora, Ramsoo, Shopian, Manjakote, Mahore, Godi and Zanaskar blocks.
The scheme was launched in November 2008 by MHRD to provide quality education in each block of the country. As per the scheme, 6,000 model schools are to be set up via two modes i.e, 3,500 schools in educationally backward blocks through state and remaining 2,500 through public-private partnership mode in blocks which are not educationally backward.
While approving the proposal of JK government, the Centre had asked state to bring down the projected cost of schools or bear the additional expenditure.
“As per scheme guidelines, there is cost ceiling of Rs 3.02 crore for constructing such a school in each block, but state government during Grant in Aid Committee (GIAC) meet in 2009 has projected higher cost. Due to higher cost projections, the Centre asked the state to reduce the cost estimate,” sources revealed, adding that Centre released Rs 25 crore as first installment for execution of work.
According to them, state government was sitting over the proposal of construction of schools for more than one and a half a year after approval.
“During this time, state neither pursued the matter of enhancing the cost with Centre nor agreed to bear the additional expenditure,” they said, adding that only few months ago state raised the matter with Centre.
“The program is hanging in balance as the matter of cost ceiling is yet to be sorted out,” sources further disclosed.
When contacted, Project Director RMSA Sarmad Hafeez told Greater Kashmir that the program couldn’t be taken up due to cost ceiling.
“We approached different construction agencies for construction of the model schools, but none of them agreed to construct a school within norm of Rs 3.02 crore. Now we have taken up matter with Centre and they have agreed to consider enhancing of ceiling by 20 percent in hilly states,” he said.
Sarmad added that construction cost is higher in hilly states like Jammu and Kashmir and “it is not feasible to construct a school which will have infrastructure and facilities of the same standard as in a Kendriya Vidyala within the cost limit prescribed by the MHRD.”
“While I have taken up the issue of enhancement of construction cost with the Centre, but at the same time I have asked Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) to modify design for bringing down the cost,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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