UT administrator Shivraj V Patil on Tuesday accorded approval to constitute two special panels —Primary Health Committee and Primary Education Committee — to monitor and operate 20 dispensaries and seven primary schools which were handed over to the municipal corporation in 2010.
The tenure of committees will end on July 15 next year.
HT had highlighted as how there was no infrastructure at these dispensaries and primary schools, since their charge given to the civic body.
No committee was formed or mechanism devised to operate these facilities in the past three years. The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has expressed its inability to run these facilities all these years.
Interestingly, no effort has been made to streamline the functioning of these utilities of public concern despite the fact that there was no shortage of funds.
Patil approved both the committees under section 41 E of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 (as extended to the Chandigarh administration).
The powers and functions of the Primary Health Committee are to sanction repair, maintenance and construction up to `Rs15.00 lakh, to advise on facilities such as wheelchairs, stretchers, filtered drinking water, barrier-free entrance immunisation maternal and child care, essential drugs, curative services for common ailments Primary Health Committee’s functions are to sanction repair, maintenance and construction up to rs 15.00 lakh, to advise on facilities such as wheelchairs, stretchers, filtered drinking water, maternal and child care, essential drugs, common ailments and injuries at these dispensaries Primary Education Committee’s functions are to advise on matters for providing scholarship, stipend, uniform, textbooks, lunchbox, water bottles, shoes, socks, mid-day meal and teaching and learning material etc besides advising measures for bringing pupil-teacher ratio as per the norms and injuries, disposal of waste and sitting arrangement in the dispensaries.
It also includes organising community awareness programmes to advise measures for bringing doctor-patient ratio as per the norms, inspecting the dispensaries and to formulate policies regarding modernisation of dispensaries.
The functions of the Primary Education Committee are to sanction repair, maintenance and construction up to Rs 15 lakh, to advise on matters for providing facilities like scholarship, stipend, uniform, textbooks, lunchbox, water bottles, shoes, socks, mid-day meal and teaching and learning material etc besides advising measures for bringing pupil-teacher ratio as per the norms, inspecting MC schools and to formulate policies on modernisation of schools.
The MC has allocated a budget of Rs 22 crore for each for both departments this financial year. However, in the absence of any management to run the dispensaries and the schools, records show that the funds of previous years have remained unspent. The state-of-affairs is even more startling when one finds that most of the dispensaries and primary school buildings need urgent repair and renovation.
Staff shortage has been a perennial problem.
The story is no different at any of the seven primary schools, where dilapidated buildings, rickety chairs, littered campuses, broken blackboards and staff shortage greet the visitors. As of now, schools are short of 495 teaching and non-teaching staff.
City mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan said, “The condition of these dispensaries and schools will improve after the formation of the committees. We have already allocated Rs 22 crore each. The committees will hold meetings soon.”