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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Report on availability of toilet facilities in HP schools sought

Saurabh Chauhan, Hindustan Times  Shimla, September 04, 2014
First Published: 14:57 IST(4/9/2014) | Last Updated: 15:01 IST(4/9/2014)

After several schools across the state were found bereft of the toilet facility, the state government has sought a report from the education department on the issue.

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the education portfolio, has asked the department to submit a report on the availability of toilets in the schools across the state. “I have asked the education department to submit a report regarding the toilet condition in the schools,” he said.

The government is also contemplating on conduct ing an audit on the construction work of the toilets. In HP, the panchayati raj department is also involved in construction of toilets in rural schools.

However, the funds, which were allocated to construct the toilets, have almost been utilised, yet several schools remain devoid of the facility. The government has not only sought a report on toilets, but also on availability of water in schools.

The CM said the government had been spending funds on construction of toilets in schools across the state, but never audited the progress. “After reading the report of the education department, an audit can be ordered,” he said.

Singh added that adequate funds were being provided for the purpose and the department had been ordered long ago to construct toilets in all school as the matter was sensitive.

Lamenting at the situation, Rattan Chand Thakur, a retired government school teacher, said, “In the olden days unavailability of toilets could be tolerated, but today, it has become a necessity.” A school teacher in Shimla, on the condition of anonymity, said, “There is no toilet in our school, so we are left with no alternative than to go in open.”

Meanwhile, Congress legislator from Kasumpti assembly segment Anirudh Singh said he had sought details of the schools in his segment, which were lacking the facility.

The Rotary Club here has also come forward to provide help. Rotary official Sanjay Sood said they were considered allocating money for the purpose.

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