In a fresh shocker from Higher Education department, Rs 2.75 crore have been spent to raise plinth of a Degree College building in old Srinagar which has been set up without laying down the parameters for its establishment.
The consultant hired by Jammu Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) has spent the amount up to the plinth level of Government Degree College (GDC) Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan from November 2013 up to June 2015.
This was revealed in the Physical and Financial status report of colleges presented by JKPCC to education minister on Wednesday.
Sources in the Higher Education department said the minister expressed his dismay over the unnecessary expenditure over the construction of the college, presently functioning in a make shift accommodation, which is otherwise supposed to be merged with adjacent college on account of its meager enrollment of students.
The project cost of the college is 11.73 crore.
"The minister ordered the JKPCC to withhold the construction work on the college saying that the students will be accommodated in any adjacent college on basis of preferences given by students," officials in the department said.
Government Degree College (GDC) Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan has staff strength of 17 lecturers including the Principal for just 16 students enrolled there. The college has failed to increase the enrollment since 2011 when it was established.
The GDC Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan is no different from around 41 colleges which are without buildings and are functioning in make shift accommodations. "The minister shelved this project and directed the JKPCC not to create unnecessary financial liability for the higher education department," officials said.
The minister, according to sources, was fumed with the unplanned construction of colleges and asked the Managing Director JKPCC not to waste money over decoration of chambers of Principals of colleges under construction for past many years.
"The minister asked the JKPCC to use simple ceiling in Principals' chambers instead of extra decorations," officials said.
Officials said the minister took review of the ongoing work of degree colleges which have been established under different schemes in JK.
The meeting was attended by Secretary higher education department, Sarita Chauhaan, and officials from JKPCC including MD, P L Bushan. "The minister warned the JKPCC and its consultants of blacklisting them in future for utilizing money over decorations in colleges," officials said.
During the review meeting of construction work on degree colleges throughout the state, the education minister directed the JKPCC to expedite the ongoing work of colleges which are at 'critical stage' so that their inauguration is done in the present academic session. "We will prefer to complete the construction work on those colleges which are at last stage so that students can be shifted in the buildings to take their classes in proper buildings," an official said quoting the minister.
Meanwhile the minister has directed secretary higher education department to immediately merge GDC Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan with another degree college and put the staff in some other colleges. "This should be done immediately," minister asked secretary higher education.