The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday admitted its failure in spending funds meant for constructions of schools under Sarva Shikshya Abhyan (SSA) in the state.
"It was true that scheme to construct school buildings was launched in 2002 under SSA - but Utilisation Certificates have not been submitted till now - red accounts have not been completed fully," deputy chief minister Tara Chand said in the Assembly in reply to a question by JKNPP MLA Yashpaul Kundal.
He further said that Government of India had released a lot of money but it has not been spent on the ground - the reason for failure is cost variation, failure to identify lands for construction of schools, and land disputes.
Amid uproar, Opposition members of JKNPP and PDF slammed government for the failure to construct school buildings.
Meanwhile, JKNPP member Balwant Singh Mankotia, Congress members G M Saroori, Krishen Chander Bhagat, NC members Qamar Ali Akhoon, Javaid Dar and BJP member Jagdish Raj Spolia raised supplementaries and demanded early completion of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV) buildings, and construction of school buildings in their constituencies.
Chand said that against the sanctioned Rs 1006.05 crore under SSA for construction of schools buildings and other related infrastructure, Rs 657.86 crore have been released during last two years.
He said Rs 25.91 crore was released for construction of school buildings in Udhampur and Samba district.
He said the reason for lesser expenditure in execution of school infrastructure was due to identification of land, reconstitution of VEC Committees and non-availability of land for construction of maximum schools.
Chand said 99 KGBVs were sanctioned by the Centre, out of which 95 schools are operational. He said construction of 12 KGBVs was completed and work on 78 schools was in progress.
He said government would take all necessary steps to ensure completion of all KGBVs, adding such schools are being established only in educationally backward areas and Jammu and Samba districts was not covered under this purview.