The construction of 2116 school buildings in J&K, which was sanctioned in previous years under the SSA scheme, is yet to be taken up by the school education department.
As per the official figures, the department is yet to start construction work on 390 primary school buildings sanctioned by union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) since the inception of the scheme. The failure of the government to take up construction work on school buildings is affecting school children who are taking classes in shabby, rented rooms sans basic facilities.
The official figures also reveal that work on 167 primary school buildings is incomplete. "The work on these buildings was started more than three years ago, but the department has failed to complete their construction," an official said wishing not to be named. He attributed the delay in construction to the cost escalation and disturbances in the state like 2014 floods and 2016 unrest. "The construction work on most of the buildings could not be started due to cost escalation and some buildings were to be constructed in hilly areas," he said.
As per official figures, 473 primary school buildings have been abandoned. Besides primary school buildings, the education department has also failed to start construction work on 33 middle school buildings from the past many years. The construction work of 10 middle schools buildings is incomplete and 41 school buildings are abandoned. "The buildings are abandoned after the construction work is left midway by the contractors," he said.
MHRD has over the years sanctioned 24169 additional classroom blocks as a strengthening component for educational institutions having inadequate accommodation. However, the work on 1683 buildings is yet to be taken up and work on 1950 classroom blocks in incomplete while 1950 blocks are abandoned.
Director School Education Kashmir, G N Itoo said the department has taken up the issue of incomplete buildings with MHRD in the past and they are expecting some assistance for completion of pending works.