SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has directed Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) to make up shortfalls in providing electricity, LED bulbs and fire extinguishers in the schools across the Kashmir Valley within four weeks.
Hearing a suo-moto Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Justices R. Sudhakar and Ali Mohammad Magrey passed the direction after perusal of a status report filed by the DSEK on February 20.
“We find the column numbers 9, 10 and 12 which relates to electricity, fire extinguishers and LED bulbs in many schools have not been provided,” the court said. Besides, the court said, found other shortfalls in the status report.
“In the meantime, Director School Education is required to comply with the directions of this court and make up the shortfalls within a period of 4 weeks,” the court said and ordered listing of the PIL by March 20.
In December last year, the DSEK informed the court that while 2939 fire extinguishers were already installed in various schools, installation of fire extinguishers in thousands of schools require additional financial resources which may take time. Referring to couple of meetings chaired by Chief Secretary in the aftermath of incidents of school burning, the DSEK had informed the court that the government has decided to install alternate fire safety measures in the form of “fire safety points”, in the schools.
Regarding installation of flood lights in the premises of the schools, the DSEK had said that huge financial involvement was needed and required technical/administrative approval which will take time.
However, the DSEK had said that as per the information by all CEOs, 2207 schools have electric facilities whereas 6004 were still un-electrified in Kashmir.
“It was decided to provide more LED bulbs in addition to the available bulbs, as a result, wherefore, 4414 LED bulbs were requisitioned from Chief Engineer, PDD (worked out @ 02 bulbs per school),” the DSEK said. The Chief Engineer PDD, he said, has provided 4400 LED bulbs to the Directorate which stand distributed to CEOs for such schools.
“For providing electricity connection to 6004 un-electrified schools, matter has been taken up with Chief Engineer PDD,” the DSEK had said following which the court had ordered it to file status report.