Despite assurances abandoned school buildings left un-utilized
Srinagar: The J&K government seems to have shelved the process for putting to use all the school buildings which were left abandoned in the school education department over the past five years.
Earlier, the government had planned to handover these buildings to various government departments and put them under use for various purposes.
“All the deputy commissioners were asked to prepare the list of the abandoned school buildings and submit it to the divisional administration with the recommendation about how to put them in use in other government departments,” an official said.
He said the data was collected from school education department in all the districts.
“The deputy commissioners were supposed to chalk out a plan to handover the buildings to various departments for utilisation of these buildings as per their requirements. But the initiative seems to have been shelved,” the official said.
As per official figures around 800 school buildings were left vacant after rationalization of schools in 2015. All these buildings were later abandoned with no watch and ward maintained from the department.
“Last month the school education department was asked to collect the data of these school buildings and make its utilisation plan under which these buildings can be put under use in other government department,” the official said.
Earlier, the divisional commissioner Kashmir had convened a meeting and decided that most of these buildings will be utilised for accommodation of ICDS centres and primary health centres (PHCs) which are functioning from rented accommodations.
An official said that there are around 1400 under construction school buildings in J&K state which were approved by MHRD to provide additional accommodation for schools.
“The construction work on these buildings has been halted due to cost escalation leaving the buildings abandoned,” the official said.
The official said the buildings were supposed to be distributed among other government departments as per their requirements.
Meanwhile, the authorities in rural development department in various district have asked the officials to identify the buildings that can be used to accommodate Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs).
“These buildings can be utilised for holding Panchayat meetings as well,” an official said.
Director school education Kashmir Muhammad Younis Malik said the department is making utilisation plan for these buildings.