Abandoned school building gets facelift after 2 years

A primary school building in Baramulla district abandoned since two years was given a facelift by authorities for the Election Day in the north Kashmir constituency on April 11.

The government-owned building of the erstwhile primary school in Potkha area of the frontier district had no students on its roll since teachers posted there were shifted to another school. There was no watch and ward as well.

As part of election process this abandoned building received complete electrification, drinking water facility and a ramp after the district election authority designated it as a polling booth for the locality.

Left unattended by the education department, the abandoned school building had become a hub of illegal activities in the locality, residents say, complaining that some youth assemble inside the rooms every evening for smoking and illicit activities.

Residents said doors and windows of the building have already been pulled out by miscreants and there are apprehensions that they may steal electric bulbs and wires from the rooms after the election is over.

“The department should put this building to use to avoid wastage of money spent on this building,” said Ishfaq, a resident of the area.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has augmented funds for facelift of those schools identified as polling stations for the parliamentary elections and assembly polls in J&K state, and directed concerned district election officer to ensure proper electrification, drinking water facility and ramps to be constructed in all polling stations.

Chief Education Officer (CEO) Baramulla G M Lone said it was mandatory to provide all the basic facilities in the school buildings which were designated as polling stations.

“But the whole process was done by the election authorities and we (education department) had no role in it,” Lone said.