Torched schools still await reconstruction

Despite the passage of one year, the school education department is yet to start reconstruction and renovation of the school buildings torched during the 2016 summer agitation.
Torched schools still await reconstruction
File Photo

Despite the passage of one year, the school education department is yet to start reconstruction and renovation of the school buildings torched during the 2016 summer agitation.

As per the official figures, around 32 school buildings were partially or completely damaged after being set ablaze by unidentified people across Kashmir.

"The school buildings were mostly attacked in Pulwama district which caused huge infrastructural loses to the department," a top official said.

Of the total, 14 buildings were fully damaged while as 18 school buildings got partially damaged in flames.

"Till date we have received Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of 21 schools which will be submitted to the government for release of funds," Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) G N Itoo told Greater Kashmir.

He said the renovation work on rest of the 11 schools, which were partially damaged in flames, has been started by state government under district plan.

"These schools received minor damages and were repaired under district sector plan," he said.

Director said the torching of schools resulted in financial implication of Rs 8 crore to the school education department.

"The funds for these schools will be released by planning department as the buildings have received major damages," Itoo said.

He however blamed the public works department for the delay in execution of work.

"There was a delay by PWD in preparing the DPRs but we somehow managed to get it done and now these DPRs will be submitted to planning department for release of funds. The work on these schools will be started soon," Itoo said.

Meanwhile, an official said the students enrolled in the schools torched during the 2016 unrest were accommodated in adjacent schools or in rented buildings.

"The directions were issued by the then secretary school education department to accommodate the students, who were left without accommodation, in other adjacent schools," the official said.

Chief Education Officer Anantnag, Ghulam Rasool Shah, said they shifted class 9th and 10th students of Nar Sangri school (zone vailoo) to adjacent higher secondary school in Larnoo.

"We also hired a building on rent to accommodate the students after their building was set in flames," he said.

Shah however said at some places they accommodated students in the same campus despite the torching of some of the buildings of the school.

"In case of HSS Kabamarg, we were in position to accommodate the students in the other available buildings in the campus. We didn't shift students of this school to other place and didn't hire any accommodation on rent," he said.

Besides 2016 unrest, the school education department faced infrastructural losses during the Parliament by-polls in April this year.

It may be recalled that two government schools designated as polling stations were set afire by unknown persons in Shopian and Pulwama districts.

A building of Government Upper Primary School (UPS) in Padderpora area of Shopian district was set on fire during the intervening night of April 9 and 10.

In a separate incident, building of Government Middle School (GMS) designated as polling station was torched in Arihal area of Pulwama.

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