As many as 85 HP laptops to be given to the students of Lakhimpur Kheri under the chief minister's free laptop scheme developed snags after getting drenched during heavy downpour at the Tehsil headquarters of the district. While the machines are likely to be replaced with new ones, the government has ordered a magisterial probe into the matter.
As per reports, the lowest layer of nearly 6000 laptops stored in the strong room at Gola Tehsil-nearly 150 kilometers from the state capital was drenched due to the rainwater seepage through the door on Monday night. Although the local officials maintained that only the packaging boxes were affected without damaging the machines, a team of technicians was called for checking the damages, if any. Officials said that the technicians, suggesting not using laptops, said that laptops were not affected.
"We came to know about it on Tuesday night. Eighty-five laptops were found dampened. We have set them aside and they won''t be used." Manisha Trigathia, district magistrate Kheri told HT on phone. The district magistrate has also written to principal secretary of the secondary education department requesting a replacement of the laptops. She said additional district magistrate Vidya Shankar Singh would probe the incident.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is expected to give away the free laptops to the class 12th pass outs of government, aided and unaided institutions of the district by month end. The CM launched the ambitious scheme mentioned in the manifesto of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) government on March 11 by giving away nearly 10,000 laptops to beneficiaries in the state capital. Preparations for distribution in Lakhimpur Kheri, Rae Bareli, Sitapur, Unnao and Hardoi-five other districts in Lucknow divisions are underway.
"Only the packages were dampened and not the machines. But they won''t be used," additional divisional commissioner, Lucknow division OP Pathak said, adding that the process for replacing the machines has been taken off as well.
Notably, on May 25, divisional commissioner of Kanpur Shalini Prasad was removed while district inspector of schools was suspended for alleged mismanagement during distribution of free laptops to students in Farukhabad. After the incident officials were warned that in case of laxity in execution of responsibility in future, stern action would be taken. Divisional commissioner was made nodal officers for the distribution process since then.