The Punjab government has informed the Punjab and Haryana high court that 966 government schools in the state are without separate toilets for girls and at least 110 classrooms in 10 districts are unsafe.
Anjali Bhawra, principal secretary, school education, in her reply informed that Rs. 43.44 crore had been released for building common toilets and separate girls' toilets, adding that the construction was under process. It was informed that Rs. 1.97 lakh per separate girls' toilet had been released by the government.
The officer also told the court that at least 110 classrooms in government schools of 10 districts Bathinda, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Moga, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr), Patiala and Rupnagar were unsafe. She stated that the director general of school education had on July 5 issued instructions to all district education officers that students should not be made to sit in unsafe buildings/rooms and before starting of the rainy season, these should be demolished.
If it is found that students are still made to sit in these unsafe rooms, then respective district education officers would be responsible for the same, it was stated. The officer also informed that the education department had forwarded a proposal to the state government to release Rs. 5.50 crore (Rs 5 lakh per classroom) at the earliest.
The reply was filed in response to the high court directions on a public interest litigation filed by advocate HC Arora, highlighting the dilapidated condition of schools in Ludhiana. Later, the scope of the case was widened to the whole of Punjab.
The case would come up for hearing on July 23.