Dereliction: Two years on, damaged school building yet to see reconstruction
Srinagar: In March 2016, a two-roomed school building of a government school in Gujarnar village of Kupwara district was damaged due to rainfall. The incident exposed the faulty construction and use of sub-standard material for erecting school buildings in Kashmir as the building collapsed only after three years of its construction.
Two years have passed, but the school building has remained unattended by the department. The sluggishness of the officials in education department has left school children without classes.
The school is situated in Mawar education zone of Langate constituency. The newly constructed three-roomed building of Upper Primary School (UPS) was completely damaged in 2016 due to the land slides, said an official, wishing not to be named.
The tree had got uprooted due to land sliding and totally damaged the school building. The tree hit the building from the back side and had an impact on the front as well, he said.
Notably, the building was sanctioned for the school in the year 2013 for an amount of Rs 14 laths. But the building was not handed over to the school authorities as the contractor had left the construction mid-way. At present the school building is abandoned like other 1400 school buildings of the school education department.
The spot survey reveals that the department has allowed the construction of the building on a foothill of the village without erecting mandatory boundary walls around the construction site.
“The erection would have avoided the chances of landslides and damage to the building,” said Ghulam Din, a local resident.
“The building has been erected in violation of the SSA norms set for construction of the school buildings. The department allowed the contractor to start the construction of the building, leaving lives of students at risk,” Din said.
Interestingly, the school was operating as primary school from a three roomed single storey building up to 2009. In 2009 the school was upgraded to upper primary level and the department sanctioned one two-roomed building for the school. But the building was left abandoned before it was put to use,” said the official.
“The building has proved useless for the school particularly students,” said a teacher posted in the school.
From 2015 the students from 5th to 8th class were shifted to a nearby High School in Rangpath village as the school faced accommodation crunch for students.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) G N Itoo said a report will be sought from the district authorities regarding the case.
“We will see if funds will be provided under SAMAGRA for its reconstruction,” Itoo said.