Damaged school building poses threat to students; locals demand immediate redressal

Damaged school building poses threat to students; locals demand immediate redressal
GK Photo

Kupwara, Sep 9: The existing buildings of Government Upper Primary School Dardhaji in the Rajwar area of Handwara have developed cracks, posing a threat to the lives of hundreds of students and staff members.

The residents of the area said that both the buildings were fully damaged and the chances of their collapse had increased manifold.

“Our children are forced to study in these buildings due to the non-availability of a new building. We always remain apprehensive about the well-being of children and teachers,” a local said. “Our children are studying under the shadow of death. The building can collapse anytime which can result in fatalities.”

The students are also suffering due to a lack of adequate accommodation.

An employee said that the school has only six rooms and of them, four were being used for academic purposes while the other two were for official affairs.

“The building is too risky to use but still we are taking classes, putting our and students’ lives at risk. Immediate steps have to be taken for the sake of hundreds of lives,” he said.

Sarpanch of the area Farooq Ahmad Cheechi told Greater Kashmir that the buildings had developed cracks in 2014 following which the matter was brought to the notice of the concerned department time and again but to no avail.

“The government had allotted Rs 22 lakh to this school from Tribal Sub Plan for smart classes but the amount was diverted to some other school due to the damaged school buildings at UPS Dardhaji,” he said. “We have offered free land to the concerned department for the construction of a new building yet the authorities haven't taken any concrete step in this regard.”

Even the students are now reluctant to continue their studies at this school.

“We always remain concerned about our lives. The claims of improved infrastructure at government schools in rural areas fall flat at our school,” said a female student.

Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) Rajwar, Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar acknowledged that both buildings were unsafe.

He said that he had written to higher-ups for some makeshift arrangements.

The locals have sought immediate intervention of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in this regard so that their children can continue their studies.

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