‘Govt failed to use funds when they were available’
Srinagar: Even as the state has been failing to provide drinking water facilities to all government schools, the situation is likely to get worse as the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDS), Government of India (GoI), has refused to fund water supply for schools under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).
An official in Education department said that GoI has asked the state government to provide drinking water to educational institutions on its own.
The move, according to officials, has put the cash starved state government in an odd situation, as earlier funding for water in schools was part of the NRDWP. The state government had to provide only 10 percent of fund share.
The change in the policy applies to all states after the GoI revised its guidelines for NRDWP.
A highly places source in the Education department said that the government failed to equip schools with drinking water facilities when funds were provided by the GoI.
The change in the funding pattern will affect rural schools the most as many are already without drinking water facility.
Officials in the department refused to provide details about the number of schools without water availability, however sources said that the number runs into thousands.
Sectary Education Farooq Ahmad Shah did not respond to repeated calls from this reporter.