Jammu: In a major setback the Government of India (GOI) has squeezed the flow of funds under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) to provide drinking water supply facilities in government schools.
The move has come as a blow to the government initiative to install drinking water facilities in schools.
As per official documents, the government of India has asked the state government to provide funds for supplying drinking water in government school.
“The coverage of schools was part of NRDWP but the guidelines of the scheme have been changed by government of India after revising the guidelines,” the official document reads.
“The funds for providing water supply to schools are to be provided by the state government,” it reads.
The official document reads that the school education is finalizing an action plan for coverage of schools for availing funds from the school education department.
“The modification in the guidelines of NRDWP has made it a cumbersome task for the state government to arrange funds for providing water supply in educational institutions,” a top official said.
He said the government failed to equip schools with drinking water facilities when the funds were released from the government.
“Now the situation in school will be worse as the department has to arrange funds within the state,” he said.
Recently, the education minister Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari revealed in the Legislative Assembly that over 50 percent government schools were without drinking water facilities across state because of dearth of funds in the department.
“The statement of the minister was an eye opener about how serious state government is regarding the government schools. The department has failed to provide basic accommodation to students and drinking water facility will be a distant dream,” the official said.
Director school education Kashmir G N Itoo said MHRD has signed a memorandum of understanding with school education department to upgrade government schools in terms of infrastructure and other basic facilities.
“Our main focus is to provide basic facilities for students in the schools,” he said.