Reports of misappropriation of funds for schools baseless: JK

Jammu, Feb 12 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir government todaydismissed as "baseless" a media report that relief funds meantfor schools damaged in the 2005 earthquake in the state weremisappropriated.

"Due to the devastating earthquake of October 8, 2005, asmany as 404 school buildings were damaged in Jammu and Kashmirand re-construction work for 84 schools buildings were takenup by the Road and Buildings Department," said a stateEducation Ministry spokesman here.

"The non-existence of construction of seven schoolbuildings, as reported in the press, is baseless and far fromreality," he said.

The Heads of several schools had reportedly complainedthat no funds from the National Calamity Relief Fund werereleased to them for reconstructing the schools damaged by theearthquake.

The official, however, brushed aside the claims sayingthat the state Department of Education had followed theinstructions of the then Chief Minister and taken up there-construction programme at all places "on war footing."

"Out of the damaged structure, the re-construction workfor 84 schools buildings was entrusted to the Roads andBuildings Department and in view of limited allocatedresources, the reconstruction of primary and some middleschools was taken-up under Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan (SSA)", hesaid.

Since some of the school buildings were damaged fully andthere was no alternate but to construct them again theestimated cost no longer remained within the allocatedresources causing the delay, he said.

"The structures have been constructed and exist as ondate," he said.

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