A decade on, 2005 quake-hit schools without buildings


Believe it or not, the school education department is yet to reconstruct the school buildings damaged due to earth quake that hit Kashmir Valley in 2005.

The massive quake that jolted Kashmir on October 08 in 2005 left a trail of destruction behind. Besides, residential houses scores of school buildings collapsed on the fateful day in Karnah area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Notably, the revelation has punctured the tall claims of the government to improve the infrastructural standards in education sector.

As per the official figures, 19 school buildings collapsed due to quake leaving students without accommodation in various areas of Karnah. However, the government is yet to construct maximum number of buildings for the students.

“Out of 19 school buildings, very few buildings were renovated while as most of them are awaiting reconstruction despite the passage of nearly 12 years now,” a senior official in school education department said.

He said most of the schools damaged due to quake were constructed under centrally sponsored school- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in Karnah.

“The department has put the issue at the back burner. The authorities are least bothered to reconstruct the buildings,” the official added.

The official said that work on some damaged buildings was completed some years ago while as work on some of the buildings have been left midway.

“Construction work on some of the buildings was initiated but has not been completed yet,” the official said.

He said work on some buildings has been completed up to the plinth level while as in other buildings work has been halted at lintel level.

“Given the accommodation crunch, students take classes under open sky. Students of other schools whose buildings were collapsed have been shifted to rented accommodations,” the official said.

The quake-hit schools which are sans permanent buildings include Government Middle School (GMS) Nachina, Boys MS Gabra, Boys MS Jabri, GMS Teethwaal, MS Byaari, GMS Heepkot, GMS Chamkoot and Boys MS Dringla.

“The irony is that work on government building of ZEO office Chamkote was taken up seven years ago but is yet to be completed,” another official added.

A senior official said that the education department had handed the project to the Public Works Department (PWD) however, the work has been halted due to non availability of funds.

“There was some requirement of additional funds to complete the construction, but the money has not been released to the execution agency,” the official added.

Executive Engineer PWD Kupwara said there was requirement of around Rs 1 crore to complete the work, but the funds were not released by the school education department.

“Work on some of the school buildings has been halted due to paucity of funds as the education department didn’t release the required funds to complete the buildings. The work will be initiated as and when the funds will be available with us,” he said.

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