Reconstruction of Burnt Schools: Govt Seeks Time to Explain Delay

Srinagar—Commissioner Secretary Planning Development and Monitoring Department on Wednesday sought time for filing an affidavit in explaining the delay in complying with Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s orders on reconstruction of schools burnt last year.

As the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation started before a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, senior Additional Advocate General submitted that the Commissioner Secretary's affidavit was ready and shall be filed shortly and not lesser than a week prior to the next date of hearing in the PIL.

On previous date of hearing, the court had noted that on July 8 this year, Detailed Project Reports were forwarded to the Secretary to the Government, School Education Department with regard to reconstruction of schools.

“It is also noted in the order of August 10 that the Secretary to the Government, School Education Department, had forwarded the DPRs to the Commissioner Secretary Planning Development and Monitoring Department, on August 4. Consequently, we (had) directed the Commissioner Secretary to expedite the process and clear the same within two weeks, i.e. by august 24. We also expected that the entire process would be through within four weeks from August 10. Unfortunately, the Planning Development and Monitoring Department gave its in-principle agreement for providing the necessary funds only on September 7, i.e. much beyond the period of two weeks which we had stipulated,” the court observed, adding, “ Although the approval has come, it was beyond the time granted by the Court. Consequently, the court directed the Commissioner Secretary Planning Development and Monitoring Department, to file within a week to file an affidavit, explaining as to why the time period of two weeks was not complied with.

More than three dozen schools were burnt during the unrest followed killing of Hizb Commander Burhan Wani in Valley last year.

Meanwhile, the senior AAG submitted a status report of Commissioner Secretary to Government, School Education Department. As per it, the state of J&K, follows the infrastructure and other facilities in schools run by the Government, as provided under centrally sponsored schemes—Sarvasiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya madhiamik Siksha Abhiyan. The former scheme was in respect of primary and upper primary schools while the later pertains to secondary and higher secondary schools.

The officer had filed the report in compliance to court orders, seeking details regarding infrastructure and other facilities, which are to be made available in Government schools throughout the State in all tiers of education—primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary. Regarding norms to be fulfilled by recognized by the Education Department, the court was informed that they have also notified vide SRO 123, dated 2010.


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