Andhra Pradesh: 'Nadu-Nedu' tangled with unattended works, mounting bills

Students not able to fill their bottles with water as RO water system installation is pending at Municipal High School at Ram Nagar in Ongole
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Students not able to fill their bottles with water as RO water system installation is pending at Municipal High School at Ram Nagar in Ongole

Highlights

The humble intention of Nadu-Nedu has been diluted as a part of the works was left unattended in a majority of schools across the districts in the state.

Tirupati/ Ongole: The humble intention of Nadu-Nedu has been diluted as a part of the works was left unattended in a majority of schools across the districts in the state.

Chittoor is no exception to it. Many civil, electrical and other works have been left midway due to multiple reasons. While in some schools, engineering officials have stopped the funds saying that excess amounts were withdrawn whereas the headmasters argue that they have not visited the works at regular intervals but end up putting blame.

Arch construction, water, toilets and electrification works remained incomplete. However, the accounts show a picture of contrast. Several such works were left unattended even at the final stage. RO systems installation was stopped in the majority of schools even after a year. Though installed in some schools, they have not become functional due to the fear of increased power bills.

Apart from the electrification works that are kept pending, the schools were not in a position to bear the cost of electricity bills. With the use of lights, fans and RO systems, power bills have gone up. Due to non-payment of huge power bills, the supply to Karakambadi ZP High School has been disconnected for the past few days.

A number of other schools suffer a similar fate in the district.

The schools were not getting maintenance grants. Ultimately, the headmasters continue to feel the heat from all quarters as they are answerable for everything. A headmaster, on condition of anonymity, commented that the first phase of Nadu-Nedu works is not satisfactory as they could not be completed due to various problems.

RO systems in Prakasam a far cry In Prakasam district, the situation is not any better. As part of the Nadu-Nedu programme, the government has provided RO systems to the schools through agencies. The government selected 1,388 schools in the first phase to provide infrastructure with a budget of Rs.331 crore in the district. In a hurry to announce the completion of the first phase of the flagship programme, the headmasters were forced to submit the completion reports despite the pending works.

Apart from providing content for the English language lab and digital library, the major work pending in many schools include installation, demonstration and maintenance of the RO water systems. Though the machinery has been shifted to schools, the agency is yet to install them.

One of the reasons for this, the teachers quoted, is due to non-payment of bills followed by shortage of funds. The other reason is that the agency expressed helplessness to install the machinery, as other construction works are in progress on the campus. The RO system agency representatives advised the headmasters to complete and clean the tanks before the installation as there should not be any stones or pellets in the tank when the water passes through the machine.

Currently, children in these schools are dependent on water supply from the municipal corporation or nearby shops. Parents are demanding the government to provide safe drinking water facilities on a priority basis in schools to save their wards from waterborne diseases.

The second RO water system waiting for installation at Municipal High School at Ram Nagar in Ongole.

Incomplete arch at Karakambadi ZP High School in Chittoor district


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