More than a year after the state education minister assured Government Polytechnic, Mumbai, (GPM) - a government aided autonomous diploma engineering college at Bandra - that the state will pay arrears of the past five years, the institute is yet to get the money. According to college officials, the government has failed to pay around Rs3 crore in salaries and other grants since 2010.
GPM, one of the leading polytechnics in the city, offers diploma in 10 branches of engineering to around 2,200 students. After the government permitted engineering colleges in the state to conduct classes in two shifts - morning and afternoon - to accommodate additional divisions, GPM had added five divisions of various engineering branches, to be taught in the second (afternoon) shift. Around 70% seats in two of these divisions were reserved for students from minority groups.
However, no posts were created for the minority divisions, and as a result, the state treasury has refused to clear the bills related to these divisions. According to the institute, the state also failed to release a big chunk of government aid for the remaining divisions . “We have been conducting these classes ever since they were started in 2010, with very little support from the state,” said RP Barhate, vice principal, GPM.
The issue of GPM’s dues had reached the state assembly, in the 2014 winter session and subsequently in the 2015 budget session, where several legislators asked the government to clarify the matter. On both the occasions, education minister Vinod Tawde had assured the house that the government will pay the all the arrears of the institute.
However, the matter is yet to be resolved. According to SK Mahajan, director, Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), the state is unable to pay the arrears as the treasury department has still not cleared the bills of minority divisions. “While we have been paying the salaries of regular posts, the part time teachers and staff working in second shift are yet to be compensated,” he said.
Talking about the non-minority divisions, Mahajan said they have released the partial amount of the grant to the institute. “We had given them a sum of around Rs70-80 lakh at that time. We don’t have enough funds to be given at one go,” he said.