Representational Image
Representational Image

In all, 1,211 toilets and 245 drinking water facilities have gone missing from schools in 8 Aspirational districts. The projects were approved, funds released but school education department is not sure about their status as they haven’t been updated on UDISE (Unified District Information System for Education) data.

Commissioner, Rajya Shiksha Kendra has now given orders for verification of these projects and to take action against the guilty officials.

The infrastructure gap exists in various schools located in eight Aspirational Districts identified by the NITI Aayog. The funds were released in the year 2014-15 and onwards for infrastructure like separate toilets, drinking water, school building and electrification.

In general circumstances time taken for construction of toilets or making arrangements for drinking water takes two to six months. But for school education department the progress in these works has not been updated even for the projects that were sanctioned in the year 2014-15 and later.

Irate, commissioner of Rajya Shiksha Kendra has written a letter to mission directors of these eight districts asking them to take action against officials responsible for this laxity.

Commissioner explains in his letter that separate toilets for boys and girls were sanctioned under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the year 2014-15 and in 2015-16. Later, more toilets were approved after finding gap in UDISE (Unified District Information System for Education) data. Moreover, schools located in rural areas got additional sanction of 1,591 girls and 2,285 boys toilets by the Panchayatraj Directorate. Funds were released in the year 2018. This means that all schools should have separate toilets for girls and boys by now.

Similarly, to provide drinking water in schools, Panchayatiraj department sanctioned and released funds for handpumps in 2,776 schools in July 2018. Approval for water connection and handpumps for 2,305 schools was given from the state head in May 2018. Funds were also released with sanction. This means that all schools in these aspirational districts should have drinking water facility.

The letter states that funds were released for electrification of 17,054 schools in March 2019 and 14,532 schools in September 2019 besides 3,164 schools getting sanction in August 2020.

The eight aspirational districts in the state identified by the National Institution for Transforming India (Niti) Aayog include Barwani, Chhatarpur, Damoh, Khandwa, Rajgarh, Vidisha, Singrauli and Guna.

Gap in UDISE data (2019-20)

District- Girls toilet- Boys toilet- Drinking water- Electrification

Barwani- 30- 38- 5- 2332

Chhatarpur- 15- 20- 82- 449

Damoh- 30- 40- 5- 558

Khandwa- 17- 33- 17- 348

Rajgarh- 17- 72- 1- 486

Vidisha- 75- 95- 42- 1128

Singrauli- 45- 67- 51- 741

Guna- 320- 297- 42- 1523

TOTAL- 549- 662- 245- 7565

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Free Press Journal