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Friday, December 13, 2019

Delhi: AAP, BJP spar over cost of building classrooms in schools

Education Minister Manish Sisodia pointed to estimates of over Rs 10 crore by the South Corporation for the construction of 43 rooms in one of their schools and accused the MCD of corruption.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 3, 2019 1:58:24 am
manoj tiwari, manish sisodia, delhi bjp, delhi aap, aap, education, manoj tiwari vs manish sisodia, delhi schools, delhi education, indian express Manoj Tiwari and Manish Sisodia. (Photo: File)

A day after Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari alleged corruption by the AAP government in the construction of new classrooms, Education Minister Manish Sisodia pointed to estimates of over Rs 10 crore by the South Corporation for the construction of 43 rooms in one of their schools and accused the MCD of corruption.

On Monday, Tiwari alleged the Delhi government had spent Rs 2,892 crore for the construction of 12,782 classrooms — Rs 24.86 lakh for each classroom— and said the expenses should not have been over Rs 800 crore.

On Tuesday, Sisodia said the figures used by Tiwari were estimates of the cost of setting up the classrooms, which includes sewage treatment plants, rainwater harvesting systems, classroom furniture, laboratory equipment and other requirements.

“The number was an estimate. The actual expenditure will be half of it,” said Sisodia, and took mediapersons to two schools in East Delhi to show them their facilities and justify expenses. He pointed to a sound-proof music room, two equipped hobby rooms, air-conditioned ICT labs, smart classrooms and an open auditorium at Rajkiya Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in West Vinod Nagar, and said such facilities were considered while drawing up estimates.

Sisodia referred to a purported resolution of the MCD’s Standing Committee, which stated an estimate of Rs 10.738 crore for the construction of 43 rooms in a certain school.

“If they estimate Rs 24.86 lakh for constructing each room, all of which are worse than ours and without the facilities we provide, it’s a matter of integrity and if we do it, it’s a scam?,” said Sisodia.

Delhi BJP’s media co-incharge Neelkant Bakshi alleged the MCD data shown by Sisodia “to hide their corruption is false”.

“MCD constructed classrooms at Rs 2,784/sq ft, including toilets and staircases. The Delhi government constructed classrooms at Rs 8,800/sq ft— three times higher than the MCD rate. It is clear CM Arvind Kejriwal and Sisodia have committed a big scam,” he said.

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