Letdown: Out of 4983 only 2863 kitchen sheds come up in schools under MDM scheme
Srinagar: The school education department continues to be lagging in completion of kitchen sheds in government schools. The department has missed several deadlines in completing the target.
The department under centrally sponsored scheme- Mid-Day Meals (MDM) was supposed to construct the kitchen sheds in schools however, the lethargic approach of the concerned authorities has hit the implementation of the scheme over the years.
As per the official figures the school education department has completed only 50 percent of the target since the inception of the scheme in the valley.
In Kashmir, the department has completed only 2863 kitchen sheds of the total target of 4983 sheds over the past years.
“The department has utilized an amount of Rs 28 crore for the construction of these kitchen sheds in valley,” an official said.
The failure in meeting the deadline by the department has resulted in non-utilization of funds released by MHRD for the purpose.
“We have funds available for this but the department is not in a position to take up the works due to non availability of land,” the official said.
In previous years, the department had a lapse of Rs 18 core as the money released from GoI could not be utilized, said an official, wishing anonymity.
“The scheme was launched to increase the enrollment in the schools but the scheme has not proved that much fruitful to serve the purpose. People don’t prefer to admit children in our schools,” the official said.
The advisor to J&K Governor Khurshid Ahmad Ganai recently convened a meeting to review the implementation of the MDM scheme. However, an official said he (advisor) was disappointed to see the grim implementation of the scheme.
“The scheme needs to be decentralized. There is huge funding from government of India but we are not in a position to utilize the funds properly,” the official said, adding that the quality of food grains served to students are also not also up to the standard.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik said the matter regarding to construction of kitchen sheds will be taken up with the administrative department.
“We will also review the quality of food grains and availability of kitchen sheds in schools,” he said.