Saturday, April 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Cattle graze as authorities laze
Polytechnic, ITI buildings in a shambles
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
Tall claims of the government on technical education and industrial training notwithstanding, 10 ITIs and six polytechnics in Punjab, completed three to five years ago, are being used only for grazing cattle.

The buildings of these institutions, constructed at a whopping cost of Rs 25.34 crore, are in a shambles.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 12.47 crore, the six polytechnics at Rahon, Muktsar, Anandpur Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi, Bhikhiwind and Dinanagar, are unlikely to be commissioned even during the coming academic session.

Similarly, 10 ITIs constructed at Khadoor Sahib, Maqsudpur, Partap Pura, Shahkot, Nathana, Abohar, Burrar, Mukerian, Jalalabad and Banwari need Rs 25.10 crore before they can be put to any worthwhile use.

While the polytechnics need another Rs 41.5 crore for equipment and recruitment of staff before they can be opened, the money required for the commissioning of the ITIs is Rs 25.10 crore. But the allocation made during the first year of the 10th Plan is too meagre to raise any ray of hope of any progress in getting these new institutions of technical education and industrial training functional in the near future.

Some of the polytechnics had been constructed in important historic towns like Anandpur Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi, Muktsar with an intention of training the youth not only for technical jobs but also encourage self-employment.

A senior technical education expert lambasted the government policies and planning, maintaining that “What was the planning when they invest so much in the construction of buildings that cannot be used for paucity of funds. In this specific case, for example, the state is losing at least Rs 3 crore a year as interest on the money it has spent on these 16 institutions.?” he asked.

While a number of polytechnics, ITIs and engineering colleges have come up in the private sector and doing roaring business, it is alleged that a strong lobby is at work to keep these “abandoned polytechnics and ITIs as they are — forgotten and neglected.

When the government conceived this plan of taking technical education and industrial training to rural areas, it gave birth to new hopes and dreams for the rural youth.

Some of the ITIs run by the state government are also facing problems as they have either low density of students or are facing staff shortage and paucity of funds for their day-to-day functioning.

The only purpose being served by these incomplete and abandoned newly constructed buildings is that they serve either as pastures for milch cattle or are used for accommodating security forces. In some areas, even the open areas belonging to these institutions are being use by farmers for cultivation, the average size of an ITI is being about 8 to 12 acres. (To be concluded)Back

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