Free Press Journal

527 abandoned school projects completed in Reasi in 2013-14


Jammu:  The Jammu and Kashmir government has completed 527 school projects, that were abandoned due to paucity of funds and other difficulties, in Reasi district in 2013-14, through community participation and convergence of schemes of various other departments.

Reasi deputy commissioner Shahid Iqbal today said a total of 593 schools had been built in the district in 2013-14. Of them, 527 projects were taken up between 2006 and 2012.

But these constructions could not be completed due to cost escalation, non-agreement of Village Education Committees (VECs) and other difficulties like hilly terrain and non-availability of construction materials in the area.

Of the 527 projects, work for 338 school buildings could not be taken up as the estimated project cost was much higher than funds allocated under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

As many as 283 toilets for girls were also constructed, the deputy commissioner said.

An allocation of Rs 6.87 lakh was made under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for construction of each school unit, while the cost of construction estimated in this hilly region ranged between Rs 9.25 lakh and Rs 10.15 lakh.

Owing to this, the VECs did not take up construction of schools allotted for the district in the past seven years till June 2013 when the Deputy Commissioner worked out shortfall of  funds for each school unit and decided to construct them in  convergence with MGNREGA and pooling community resources.

The DC and his team held a series of meeting over a period of 30 days with more than 500 VECs in six Educational Zones and convinced them for construction of school units through community participation and additional funds provided under MGNREGA and district plan.

This has come as a major relief for more than 35,000 students in a district having only 58 per cent literacy rate and having 33 per cent population below the poverty line.

More than 200 schools were constructed in two major areas of district — Gulabgarh and Mahore — that have been hotbed of militancy till recently.