Mangalore, Aug 9, 2014: As a result of the rains this season, the 30 year old school the roof of DK Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School, Bajal Padpu, collapsed on August 8. A memorandum urging repair of the school has got no attention for over a year now. CEO Tulasi Maddineni of the zilla panchayat said there were no funds for repair work earmarked. As a contingency measure,to the school that has 150 children, Mangalore south MLA J R Lobo sanctioned Rs 4.50 lac from the MLA fund after he visited the site following the incident.
Maddineni said, “The ZP is now faced with a financial crunch. We have no dedicated fund for the repair works and as much as Rs 30 crore is needed if we have to repair all schools under ZP." When asked about the memorandum requesting repair works, she said that the ZP was only spending money on the infrastructural development of rural schools.
“For a building built in the year 1978,The school spent about Rs 20,000 on this years maintenance. The building is very old and failed to withstand the heavy rains. Memo sent to MLAs, and ZP have not seen any response. Today, luck favoured the school in that there were no injuries caused. The school had shifted most of the students to a nearby hall expecting some the situation,” the head teacher said. About the hall where most of the students have been shifted, HM said the condition of the hall is also poor and the school has to be rebuilt to ensure the safety of the children.
BEO Jnaneshwar said that the department will focus on repair of the hall which has RCC roof, from the funds granted by the MLA, since the hall has better capacity and any balance would be used for the tiled-roofed building. It is felt that the school authorities are loaded with work first the academic, now the safety issues and more, the staff position remains bleak and the sufferers are the little kids?