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MC 'fails' to do primary duty

chandigarh Updated: Jun 28, 2012 16:34 IST
Hillary Victor

If you want to know how serious the civic body is about educational infrastructure, just visit any of the seven primary schools the UT administration transferred it in September 2010. Dilapidated buildings, rickety chairs, garbage-filled campus, broken blackboards, and to top it, shortage of staff. That's the state of MC-administered schools in the city.

Call it the lack of awareness or "indifference", the MC has not formed a sub-committee to deal with the functioning of the schools. Councillors feign ignorance about their powers when it comes to setting things right in these schools. But then they can prod MC to increase expenditure on education. Only Rs 44,000 of the total budget of Rs 5.4 crore allocated for 2011-12 was spent on these schools.

Even this year, they have kept the budget of nearly Rs 19 crore, but officials showed helplessness over carrying out major renovations at the schools.

A senior official of MC, on the condition of anonymity, expressed his helplessness and said, "The UT administration handed over schools, which are really in a bad shape. We cannot expand them or go in for major renovations, as we do not have alternative to shift students. Though we are doing minor renovations, that is not serving our purpose."

As of now, there are 72 JBTs, five NTTs and 14 class-4 employees and the schools are short of 495 teaching/non-teaching posts.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla said, "The schools have been transferred to MC, but why a sub-committee has not been formed even after six months? The councillors are not aware of their powers regarding the functioning of the schools."

This year, MC was allocated nearly Rs 19 crore for constructing new primary schools and improving the infrastructure in the existing seven schools.

However, no new schools have been constructed and even those existing are allegedly in a shambles and have been facing a number of problems - from dilapidated buildings to lack of infrastructure and shortage of staff.

Ward no. 25 councillor Gurcharan Dass Kalaa 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. Besides, seepage has damaged most of the walls. We fail to understand that why the MC is not using the allocated budget."

"The primary school at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has been currently running from a 'serai' with just three rooms. It is in a shambles. The children are the sufferers as they are not getting proper educational environment to grow and develop. Despite repeated requests to the MC, nothing has been done," said area councillor Saurabh Joshi.

The seven primary schools at Butrela, Sectors 12 and 26, Mauli Complex, Railway Colony and two at Manimajra were also transferred to the MC.