23 Mar 2017 | 1:51 AM
JALANDHAR: Almost a month after The Tribune highlighted lack of grants to Nakodar-1 and 2 blocks of the city to pay power bills and days after the District education Officer (DEO) assured that the payment of grants will be ensured, these blocks are yet to receive the promised grants.[ + read story ]
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, March 22
Almost a month after The Tribune highlighted lack of grants to Nakodar-1 and 2 blocks of the city to pay power bills and days after the District education Officer (DEO) assured that the payment of grants will be ensured, these blocks are yet to receive the promised grants.
In a recent audio conversation between a teacher and a Block Primary Education Officer (BPEO) that leaked on WhatsApp, a mobile networking application, a local BPEO is heard telling a school teacher — “Who is asking for their school’s connection to be restored and to ask school students to bring cold water in bottles from home if they need it at schools.”
The BPEO said: “Connection kat gaya tan fer ki hoeya? (what’s the big deal if the electricity connection of your school has been cut).”
He further said: “Bacheyan nu kaho gharon tande pani diyan botlan le aya karan (tell students to get cold water in bottles from home).
Out of the Rs 2 lakh grant (each), bills worth Rs 25,000 of Nakodar 1 have been cleared while in Nakodar 2 no bills have been cleared.
While March 31 is the deadline for the payment of the bills, these payments have not been made to schools despite repeated requests by them. At some schools, electricity department teams also came to cut power connections. However, teachers said they were convinced after requests made by them. Primary schools like Shahpur, Maheru, Pandori Khas, Khurshaidpur, Singhpur, Bangiwal, Sidhwan, Adraman, Nakodar (boys), Nakodar (girls) are yet to pay their electricity bills.
A teacher of a school in Nakodar 1 block said: “Summers are here and school students are already feeling the heat. In a few days, with the mercury rising we will be risking students’ health if power is not resumed. The BPEO’s attitude is apathetic. We need electricity to keep the school running. While the bills are not being paid, BPEOs are further bad-mouthing teachers. Bills from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 of many schools remain pending. What are we supposed to do?”
Meanwhile, BPEO Amrik Singh of Nakodar 1 and 2 blocks denied that he made any such statements. When asked why the bills had not been cleared, he said: “I am only a single BPEO and there are too many schools. For every block we have to reach out to four to five SDOs. Its a mammoth task. Besides, if schools bring us bills we will clear them. The bills will be cleared ahead of the deadline.”
DEO (elementary) Rampal Singh said: “The crisis has not been brought to my notice so far. But if some schools are still facing trouble we will check into it when schools open.”