Srinagar: The government school rental liability has gone up following the failure of the state government to release the rent against the schools operating from the rented accommodations throughout Kashmir.
According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), given the delay by government, the rent liability has piled up for past more than four years against the schools setup under state plan as well as under erstwhile centrally sponsored scheme Sarva shiksha Abhiyan, across Kashmir.
The officials said the rent liability has piled up from past years as the planning department as well Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has not released funds to pay rent for the schools functioning from hired accommodations.
“The planning department of state has not released funds for rent due to which the liability has swelled up in education department over the past four to five years,” an official said. He said the planning department didn’t allocate funds to meet out the rent of the schools.
“We have huge liabilities of previous years but government didn’t release any money for it. The department has several times projected the cost with planning department but it didn’t work out,” he said.
The official said the rent of the buildings hired to accommodate schools setup under state plan is fixed by the rent assessment committee headed by the concerned Deputy Commissioner (DC) as its Chairman, Chief Education Officer (CEO) and Assistant Executive Engineer of PWD department as its members.
“The rent is fixed on basis of the accommodation available in the building. But the funds have not been released,” the official said.
The official said the MHRD earlier used to release rupees 200 per month for each SSA school functioning from rented accommodation. However, the funds were stopped after government failed to construct government buildings for these schools.
Given the failure of the department to release the rent for private buildings hired for accommodation of schools, the owners of the buildings have now threatened to seize the infrastructure of schools.
“The owners have not been paid for years and now they have started seizing school lockers and other items as well,” an official said wishing not to be named. “The irony is that department in 2015 clubbed over 1500 rented schools in rationalization process but the owners are yet to receive the rent of previous years,” he said. (KNO)