With the authorities claiming that they have no funds to buy power generators, children in government primary and middle schools in Punjab’s rural areas are sweating it out due to long power cuts.
Domestic users in villages are facing cuts of 8 to 10 hours daily. The average supply for the agricultural sector is only for 5 to 6 hours daily against the eight-hour promise.
In Muktsar, the home district of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, only 131 high and senior
secondary schools out of 550 have power generators.
“Primary and middle schools have no funds to buy generators. The situation is the same across Punjab,” said Davinder Pal, district education officer (DEO), Muktsar.
“There is no fee structure up to Class 8, so these schools normally do not have funds to buy generators. However, high and secondary schools often have some funds to arrange generators. Most of the secondary schools have them,” said Bathinda DEO Shivpal.
Both DEOs admitted that children in primary and middle schools were bearing the brunt of power
cuts during classes.
“We used to shorten the school timings in the summer. However, no such measure has been taken this year so far,” the Bathinda DEO said.
An official in the education department said most of the senior secondary schools had generators, but it were teachers who paid from their pocket for the fuel.