In a bid to turn 54 government schools into model schools, the Delhi government had handed over the renovation and beautification project to the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) in late 2015. Less than three years later, glaring infrastructural problems have begun to surface, with cracks developing on the walls of some of the recently completed schools.
The issue was highlighted at a meeting of the co-ordination committee, chaired by the director of Directorate of Education (DoE) on August 16, wherein the DoE asked the heads of the 54 schools to submit details of the “deficiency work.”
“The 13 District Deputy Director Education (DDEs) have informed that there are numerous deficiencies in civil/electrical/plumbing/renovation work done by DTTDC in 54 pilot schools. In fact, big cracks have started appearing in some recently completed schools,” stated the minutes of the co-ordination committee meeting attended by officers of the education department, PWD and DTTDC officers.
In 2015, the 54 government schools were selected to be developed into model schools on the basis of the proposals submitted by the principals. The government had allocated Rs 250 crore for the project. While the school infrastructure work was undertaken by the PWD, the renovation of the schools was handed over to the DTTDC.
A principal of one of the schools, on condition of anonymity, said, “They took such a long time to build the schools… after they handed over the building to us, water started seeping in and cracks developed within months. The matter should be inquired by the government.”
The heads of the schools have been asked to prepare deficiency reports. Meanwhile, a monitoring committee headed by the heads of the schools, the building in-charge and representatives of the PWD/DTTDC, is also being constituted. “Once the schools submit the details, the matter will be taken up with the DTTDC so that the deficiencies can be corrected,” said a DoE official.
Apart from the issues raised with respect to work done by the DTTDC, the PWD, too, has been pulled up for carrying out “below standard” whitewash in several schools. “In almost all the schools visited, the quality of whitewash done by the PWD is found to be below standard. In many rooms, whitewash has not been done at all, and very cheap material (chuna) has been used to paint the exteriors,” stated the minutes of the meeting. The heads of the schools have also been asked to submit photographs of the whitewashed buildings.