Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday dismissed as "baseless" a media report that relief funds meant for schools damaged in the 2005 earthquake in the state were misappropriated.
"Due to the devastating earthquake of October 8, 2005, as many as 404 school buildings were damaged in Jammu and Kashmir and re-construction work for 84 schools buildings were taken up by the Road and Buildings Department," said a state Education Ministry spokesman in Jammu.
"The non existence of construction of seven school buildings, as reported in the press, is baseless and far from reality," he said.
The heads of several schools had reportedly complained that no funds from the National Calamity Relief Fund were released to them for reconstructing the schools damaged by the earthquake.
The official, however, brushed aside the claims saying that the state Department of Education had followed the instructions of the then chief minister and taken up the re-construction programme at all places "on war footing."
"Out of the damaged structure, the reconstruction work for 84 schools buildings was entrusted to the Roads and Buildings Department and in view of limited allocated resources, the reconstruction of primary and some middle schools was taken up under Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan (SSA)", he said.
Since some of the school buildings were damaged fully and there was no alternate but to construct them again the estimated cost no longer remained within the allocated resources causing the delay, he said. "The structures have been constructed and exist as on date," he said.