Around forty-four hostels are likely to be constructed in the educationally backward blocks (EBBs) to facilitate the stay of girl students of secondary and higher secondary schools in rural areas of Kashmir.
The development came after the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) agreed to approve the hostels for valley to revive the earlier scheme sanctioned in 2011-12 for J&K.
The MHRD under one component of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), pertaining to construction of girls' hostels, had approved over Rs 60 crores during the financial year 2011-12 for J&K, however, the process was shelved by the previous regime, resulting in funds remaining unutilized for past four years.
An amount of Rs 2.10 crore was approved for construction of each hostel in valley.
"The then government didn't pay any heed towards this major component, with the result MHRD decided to withdraw the money and it remained unspent since 2011," officials said, adding that the department had even identified the schools in EBBs.
Officials said the scheme was revised after the formation of PDP-BJP government.
"The CEOs have submitted the site plans of the hostels but the department is mulling to change the locations given the feasibility for construction of the buildings," officials said, adding that the department doesn't want to waste the money in earth work which results is cost escalation and halts the work for years.
"We have a bad experience of RMSA school buildings which are pending for past many years because there were flaws in the feasibility report," officials said.
The issue also surfaced in the review meeting convened by Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) on Tuesday wherein the CEOs were directed to recommend new site plans if needed to avoid wastage of money on earth work.
"Land identification should be done keeping in view the condition of the soil. We should not waste money in earth work," DSEK had told in the meeting.
Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar said the hostels were approved some four years ago but the scheme was put at the backburner.
"I personally followed the scheme and we are hopeful to complete the construction of these hostels in a time bound manner," Akhtar said.