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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

MC fares poorly in its primary tests

Hillary Victor, Hindustantimes.com  Chandigarh, December 10, 2012
First Published: 00:19 IST(10/12/2012) | Last Updated: 00:53 IST(10/12/2012)

If you want to know how serious the civic body is about maintaining schools and dispensaries, which are functioning under it, expenditure statement of the municipal corporation tells a lot. Of Rs10 crore allotted to each department in April, the municipal corporation has only spent Rs. 19 lakh on the renovation of one primary school in Manimajra in the past 12 months.

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Call it the lack of awareness or indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned, the MC has not even formed a sub-committee to deal with dispensaries and primary schools, nearly 12 months after the new House was formed.

The UT administration had transferred 20 dispensaries and seven primary schools to the MC in September 2010. With the proposal for upkeep of these dispensaries not formulated even eight months after the allocation of funds, buildings of some of these dispensaries and schools are crying for urgent repair.

As per records, four dispensaries have no doctors and are functioning from dilapidated buildings.
It is learnt that the medical officer (health) has written to the MC commissioner for the repair of all 20 dispensaries, which were in dire need of repair, in September 2011. However, only estimates have been approved and work is yet to be allotted.
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/non-teaching staff, it was revealed.

MC deputy mayor Satish Kainth admitted that the condition of dispensaries and schools had gone from bad to worse over a period of time. "We have written to officials concerned several times to get a survey conducted in all dispensaries and primary schools, but nothing has been done so far. We have even written to the administration regarding the formation of an MC sub-committee, but the needful is yet to be done," he said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior MC official expressed his helplessness on the matter. "The schools the UT administration handed over to us are really in a bad shape. We cannot expand them or go in for major renovations, as we do not have alternate accommodation for students. Though we are carrying out minor repairs, it will not serve the purpose," he said.
On the other hand, councillors said they expressed ignorance about their powers when it came to setting things in order.

Asked to comment on the issue, BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi said: "The building of government primary school at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is on the verge of collapse. Though the budget has been approved, the work has not been allotted. As many as 225 students are on rolls, but they are braving cold as most windowpanes and doors are broken. Two classes even do not have furniture and students have to sit on floor."

Not only has the building developed cracks, seepage has damaged most walls, he said.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik admitted that the condition of dispensaries and schools is not good. She added that for most of the schools, budget has been approved and work will start soon. "We are waiting for a nod from the UT administration for formation of sub-committees. Once we have the dedicated panels, we will streamline the process."

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