Chandigarh municipal corporation, which is currently responsible for running seven primary schools in the city, has spent a measly Rs 44,000 out of the total budget of Rs 5.4 crore allocated for the fiscal 2011-12.
The issue is expected to lead to heated arguments as it comes for discussion in the MC house meeting scheduled for March 30. The matter came to light after BJP councillor Satinder Singh raised the "deteriorating condition" of primary education in the city.
In a written reply, the MC said Rs 44,000 had been spent on the annual maintenance/ repair of primary schools.
According to the reply, at present, there are 72 JBTs, five NTTs and 14 Class-4 employees; the new appointments will be made only when the administration sanctions 495 teaching/non-teaching posts.
The MC was allocated the budget for constructing new primary schools and improving the infrastructure of the existing seven schools.
However, no new schools have been constructed and even those existing have allegedly been in a shambles and have been suffering from a number of problems -- from dilapidated buildings to lack of infrastructure and shortage of staff.
However, mayor Raj Bala Malik said, "Eighteen sites were given to us for the new schools, but we only found three feasible. We have held several meetings with the UT administration for finalising the drawings of the buildings. The project has been lying with the UT chief architect for finalisation of the drawings. Since the plans were not approved, it was not possible for us to spend the amount."
Ward No 25 councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala said, "The building at Government Primary School, Manimajra 1, is on the verge of collapse. Of the two buildings, cracks have surfaced in the pillars of one of them, making it dangerous for the students. We fail to understand why the MC is not using the allocated budget."
"The primary school at the PGI has been currently running from a serai with just three rooms. It is a shambles; the children have to suffer. Despite repeated requests to the MC, nothing has been done," said a teacher.
In July 2010, the UT administration had transferred seven primary schools to the MC. These are located at Butrela, Sectors 12 and 26, Mauli Complex, Railway Colony and two at Manimajra.