The J&K government has put the renovation and reconstruction of schools, damaged during LS polls in Budgam district, at the back burner.
Despite the passage of around three months the department has not initiated any renovation for the schools damaged during the LS elections in the month of April this year.
More than 35 government schools designated as polling stations in Budgam district, were severely and partially damaged during the clashes between the youth and security forces which marred the elections on April 09.
“Nothing was done so far to renovate the school buildings which came under attack carried out by the youth on election day,” a senior official of the department said.
He said the youth damaged windows and doors on election day of the schools which were designated as polling stations.
“In these months some minor repairs were done by the concerned school authorities but most of the schools are still in dilapidated conditions,” the official said.
Officials said some of the damaged educational institutions are in position to conduct classes for students while as other dozen schools have severe damages which has caused accommodation crunch for the students.
“Eight schools are severely damaged while as rest of the schools received partial damages. Youth have broken all the glass panes,” the official said.
The officials said the infrastructure loses faced by school education department was supposed to be reimbursed by Election authorities, however nothing was done in this regard till date.
“Department had decided to project the cost of loses to Election Authority as our schools were damaged because of the elections. We even don’t deny them (ECI) for setting up polling booths in schools,” the official said.
Besides infrastructural loses the students enrolled in schools-designated as polling stations also suffered academic loses as the institutions were handed over to troops called from other states for election duty in election bound areas.
“The academic schedule in schools was adversely hit in the schools post-occupation by paramilitary troops. Besides handing over educational institutions to paramilitary troops, hundreds of other government schools were designated as polling stations which later became the first causality as the institutions faced maximum brunt,” the official said.
Chief Education Officer (CEO) Budgam said some schools which suffered minor damages were repaired by concerned school authorities out of school funds. “Renovation of other schools will also be started in coming times. We have already prepared DPRs of four schools which were burnt in 2016 unrest,” CEO Budgam said.
He said around 40 schools were attacked during elections for which the process for renovation and reconstruction will be done on priority.
The voting for LS polls in Srinagar parliamentary constituency was disrupted on April 09 (Sunday) in Budgam district, forcing re-election in 38 polling stations where youth had captured the polling booths and took control of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Eight civilians were killed and over 150 injured in severe clashes between the protestors and government forces on the election day when the constituency witnessed the lowest ever turnout of 7 percent.