Hostels for tribal girls in Orissa,one of the state governments various schemes aimed at giving tribals an incentive not to take up Naxalism,have been found short of facilities by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The government had been providing funds to Integrated Tribal Development Agencies (ITDAs) since February 2007 for construction of hostel buildings that were to include compound walls,toilets,kitchens,rooms for wardens and chowkidars besides students rooms. The SC/ST department has so far constructed 1,003 such hostels while another 1,040 are under construction. The funds come from a Centrally sponsored scheme for hostels for ST and SC girls and boys,the Revised Long Term Action Plan for the KBK districts,and the Biju KBK scheme.
In its audit,the CAG found toilets and other basic amenities missing from 25 hostel buildings,built by the ITDAs of Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi and Balliguda block of Kandhamal between April 2007 and November 2009,handed over to the respective school authorities by the ITDAs,and being used by 5,206 boarders.
In the estimates for the hostels in Koraput,amenities like water supply and sanitation were not even accounted for. These hostel projects had used up 98 per cent of the estimated cost,with 13 of them using up the full amount.
One of these buildings (Pastikudi,and under the ITDA,Thuamul Rampur block,Kalahandi),constructed at Rs 9.50 crore and handed over to the school authorities in November 2010,was not put to use because of the absence of basic amenities.
The CAG noted that the SC/ST department does not have centralised data on the hostel buildings,indicating that the department had not monitored the construction properly .
Last year,165 girls of such a hostel in Maoist-affected Rayagada had left,complaining about lack of amenities. The boarders had alleged they had been writing to the authorities to address the issues of lack of sanitation and drinking water. When the letters did not work,they put up posters on the school walls before finally leaving en masse.