214 schools have no drinking water

Connections, taps, even grants have failed to alleviate problem in district

At present, the Government is mum on its intention to close down Kannada schools or merge them with other schools. However, one aspect which is completely ignored is that some Kannada schools do not have basic facilities.

According to the Department of Public Instructions there is no permanent drinking water facility in 214 schools all over Chikkaballapur district.

As many as 115 schools in Bagepalli taluk, Chikkaballapur taluk (6), Chintamani taluk (59), Shidlaghatta taluk (20), Gudibande taluk (20) and some schools in Gauribidanur taluk do not have drinking water facility.

Only connections

In some schools despite the existence of taps and sumps there is no supply of water. Most of the students get drinking water from their homes or go to nearby houses for water.

The lack of drinking water facility in schools was brought to the notice of the Zilla Panchayat at its monthly review meeting of 20-point Karnataka Development Programme (KDP).

During the meeting the officials of the Department of Public Instruction  assured supply of water to these schools. However, there are complaints that water is not been supplied to these schools.

“The officials of the Department of Public Instruction informed the KDP meeting the all facilities like taps, toilets, sumps and buckets have been provided to schools. However, when they were asked if water is being provided to these schools, there was no clear answer. Most of the schools do not have water facility and no action has been taken in this regard”, says Chikkaballapur Zilla Panchayat Vice President B Sumithramma.

Local responsibility

However reacting to this, the officials of the Education Department say that a grant of Rs 25,000 has been given to each school for these facilities. However the responsibility of providing drinking water vests with the officials and members of taluk and gram panchayats, they add.

“For the supply of water, the gram panchayat under whose jurisdiction the schools come has to give pipe connection and ensure water supply. However, the gram panchayat members and secretaries give various excuses for not supplying water. Some say that when the village itself does not have enough water, how can it be supplied to schools. Others say that the schools are located too far for a pipeline connection. What can we do under such circumstances”, the officials of the education department told Deccan Herald.

The officials said a letter has been written to the Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Panchayat to make arrangements for the supply of water to school. “The ZP CEO in turn has directed the executive officers of taluk panchayats in this regard. The executive officers and gram panchayat members should take interest. Only then this problem can be solved”, the officials add.

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