Pune parents complain of ‘old uniform’ scandal
The parents allege that to provide benefit to a contractor, a senior administration official and a prominent office bearer of the ruling party, the entire Direct Benefit Transfer scheme has been bypassed.pune Updated: Jun 30, 2017 15:32 IST
The Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) smart card scheme is being circulated by the municipal administration on a large scale to ensure that various types of materials are available in time to the employees of the municipal corporation and students of the municipal education board. The parents allege that to provide benefit to a contractor, a senior administration official and a prominent office bearer of the ruling party, the entire scheme has been bypassed.Therefore, in addition to doubts regarding the implementation of the scheme, the parents allege that students may get old uniforms this year too.
Every year, the municipal administration provide various types of material to students of the municipal education board. The administration also follows the tender process for this. However, parents allege that there were irregularities in it this year. The allegations by parents have triggered a controversy, leading to delay in procuring the material. Earlier this year, the municipal administration announced that around one lakh students of the municipal education board will be provided uniforms by July 15.
Accordingly, 43 firms agreed to give uniforms to them. The professional firms, however, complained that due to a limited duration given to them, it would be impossible to make uniforms for a large number of students. Later, one of the firms agreed to give uniforms within the deadline prescribed by the civic body. Since, the firm was providing uniforms to students during previous years, it had 85,000 uniforms left over from last year. The firm, therefore, decided to distribute old uniforms to the students.
“I will personally look into this issue.The order for new uniforms for this year was already given, hence, this will not happen,” said mayor Mukta Tilak. “The allegations of old uniforms being given out to students is a rumour. There are 43 contractors who are ready to provide uniforms.Students have a choice whether to buy from the shop or get the uniforms from the school stall,’’ said Tushar Daundkar, chief of store department, PMC.
Meanwhile, students from the Shrimati Shantabai Balkrishna Dhole Patil school at Dhole Patil road said that they are still waiting for school uniforms, even though the school has already started. The students of Mahatma Jyotiba Prathamik Vidyalaya said that they have still not received uniforms meant for the last academic year. Asha Shinde headmistress of school said, “We are allowing students to wear plain clothes because we know that uniforms were not distributed last year. Now, under the DBT smart card scheme we are waiting for this year’s uniform.”
Pune will be the first municipal corporation to distribute the benefits of the DBT scheme without purchasing material for it. The standing committee has also approved this proposal. Therefore, the amount meant for the purchase material will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of more than one lakh and twenty thousand beneficiaries of the board of education. However, there is a doubt in the implementation of this scheme.