The Jammu and Kashmir government has failed to release the rent against the schools operating from the rented accommodations throughout Kashmir.
Given the delay by government, the rent liability has piled up for past more than three years and the land owners, according to officials threaten lock down of the schools and seize the school infrastructure as well.
The rent liability is pending against some schools set up under state plan in some districts and schools established under centrally sponsored scheme- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) functioning across Kashmir.
In Central Kashmir’s Srinagar district, the government has rent liabilities of over 200 schools. In the district the rented schools are operating from ‘dilapidated’ and congested rooms since their establishment under SSA scheme.
Even though the number of rented schools has decreased post rationalization process initiated by school education department, but the rent liabilities are pending against the previous figure.
“The number of rented schools has decreased but the department has not cleared the rent of the schools which were amalgamated with the other schools,” an official said wishing not to be named.
In Srinagar district around 62 percent government schools are sans government accommodations.
As per the official figures, 326 out of 518 schools in Srinagar district are functioning from rented accommodations.
“Only 192 schools have government buildings while in rest of the school’s students are chocked in rented buildings,” the officials said.
As per the official figures 176 out 203 Primary Schools and 124 out of 211 Middle schools are sans any permanent accommodation in the City.
“All these schools have rent liability for past more than three years. The land owners are fumed with the delay in the release of the rent who threaten to seize the school property,” said an official in Srinagar district.
The official said the rent of the schools is fixed by the rent assessment committee headed by the concerned Deputy Commissioner (DC) as its Chairman, Chief Education Officer (CEO) and Assistant Executive Engineer of PWD department as its members.
“They fix the rent of the parent schools which are set up under state plan while as the rent for SSA schools is released from MHRD through State Project Director SSA,” the official said.
“The rented accommodation consists of two rooms maximum where we have to accommodate all the classes and office as well,” the official said.
“The students are literally chocked in congested rooms,” confirmed the official.
In Ganderbal district the department has rent liability over 70 schools from past three years.
“The number of rented schools has reduced to around 40 post rationalisation of schools but the rent is pending which has fumed the building owners,” the official said.
The north Kashmir’s Baramulla district has over 500 schools without government accommodation.
The district has rent liabilities of SSA schools for past more than three years. “After amalgamation the number of rented schools is over 200 but the Department has not paid the rent of the schools which were earlier functioning separately,” officials said.
The government has a huge liability of rent against the government schools, particularly sanctioned under SSA scheme in Kupwwara and Bandipora districts as well.
“The government has not paid the rent to the owners whose buildings have been hired to run schools on rent in south Kashmir districts as well,” the official said.
A top official in the education department said directions have been passed to the Director School Education and Director SSA to submit the details of liability to government for release of funds.
“They have been asked to take up the matter with concerned DCs, who fix the rent of the schools,” the official said.
“The liability will be cleared within a period of one month,” the official added.