Better management desired
Utilization of available resources and their optimum use is one measure that the present administration can use to cut down on its ever increasing expenses. For this purpose the proposal to identify and use the government owned buildings to run various schemes and projects could have proven a game changer.
However, the apathy and lackadaisical attitude of the state administration headed by various officials is ruining the scheme of things. The case in point is the non-utilisation of the government school buildings which were left abandoned by 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. Various proposals have been made and files shifted from one desk to another but in the end the objective that was to be achieved remained elusive.
Interestingly, the government had already directed all the deputy commissioners two years back 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. For this the data was also sought from the school education department in all the districts of the state.
As per official figures more than 800 school buildings were left vacant after rationalization of schools in 2015. All these buildings were later abandoned with no watch and ward maintained by the education and other departments concerned.
Besides, around 1400 under construction school buildings in J&K which were approved by MHRD to provide additional accommodation for schools were also left abandoned as the construction work in these buildings was stopped due to cost escalation as the contractors took years altogether to complete the civil works on these buildings.
Given the number of abandoned buildings that were available a novel idea of allocating these buildings to various other departments was mooted. This would have ensured that the departments and offices that are running from various hired buildings will save crores of rupees for the exchequer which is otherwise paying huge money as rent for ensuring that the offices are run.
Most of the abandoned buildings were proposed to be used to accommodate Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs), Public health Centers, ICDS and other offices that are established in various villages and towns.
For ensuring this transition the deputy commissioners were directed to chalk out a plan to handover the buildings to various departments for utilisation as per their requirements. But the initiatives have been shelved and the government continues to cough up money as rent to be paid to the owners of the buildings where these offices and establishments are running.
The irony is that the abandoned buildings are turning out to be the hubs for anti social activities and other crimes as the buildings have been left totally on the mercy of the people.