In J&K, 5,433 schools don’t have drinking water, over 3k without toilets

In J&K, 5,433 schools don’t have drinking water, over 3k without toilets
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Srinagar: More than 5,000 schools in J&K – accounting for more than 24 percent of the institutions – do not have drinking water facility and over 3,000 of them are still without a toilet for its students, despite funds for the latter “already available” with the School Education Department (SED).
The department is now mulling to “identify the source of financing and follow an unambiguous implementation mechanism” for “100 percent saturation” of basic facilities in schools of the state.
In a statement issued Thursday, Secretary School Education Department (SED) Ajeet Kumar Sahu said that as per UDISE 2017-18, as many as 5,433 schools in the state did not have drinking water facility.
Of the schools deprived of the drinking water facility, 3,030 are in Jammu division and 2,078 are in Kashmir.
In Ladakh division, 230 schools in Kargil and 95 in Leh do not have a water connection as per the data. There are 22,627 schools in the state in all.
As per the figures enclosed by Sahu, 1,933 schools in the state are without a boys’ toilet while as 1,110 institutions are without a toilet facility for girls.
The data reads that 438 schools were “without any boys and girls toilet” as per UDISE 2017-18.
The absence of separate toilet facilities for boys and girls at more than 3,000 schools in the state is despite required funds “already available with the Director School Education concerned”, as per the Secretary SED.
“The requisition of funds recommended by the committee (school wise) will be communicated by Chief Education Officers to the concerned directors with the recommendation for releasing the funds to the Executive Engineers of the School Education Department concerned for execution of the works,” the secretary said.
For providing drinking water facility at the schools, the Secretary SED has asked the concerned Deputy Commissioners to “dovetail the available resources with them for this purpose”.
“Schools identified as polling stations can be covered through the funds made available by the Election Commission of India,” Sahu has told them.
“DPRs of the remaining schools district wise which are without drinking water facility will be forwarded to the Secretary School Education for financing through respective Director School Education,” he said.
The Secretary SED has also asked concerned officials to enter into agreement with the PDD (Power Development Department) for providing electricity connections at the deprived schools.
As already reported by Kashmir Reader, 75 percent schools in J&K are still without electricity as per official data.
“The Deputy Commissioners shall take all necessary measures to achieve 100% saturation target of basic infrastructure in all Government schools in a time bound manner. For this purpose, Deputy Commissioner concerned shall hold weekly meeting and send weekly progress report,” Sahu has ordered.
Pertinently, the General Administration Department had in January constituted committees in every district of the state for achieving 100% saturation in facilities of toilets, drinking water and electricity in government schools.
The committees, which were headed by DCs, were asked to primarily assess the deficit schools and prepare DPRs for the purpose.
The committees were also asked to monitor different works executed by various departments in collaboration with the SED.