Govt to assess safety of flood-hit school buildings

Incessant rain and ensuing floods have set off alarm bells in the Department of Primary and Secondary Education over the safety of school buildings.

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Following reports that floods and rain have damaged school buildings, officials will soon take up a state-wide survey of buildings to check all the safety parameters even as funds sanctioned for their repair remain unutilised.

Officials said that in north Karnataka, some school buildings collapsed while several others were partially damaged during the floods in the last one month. Engineers from the Public Works Department will be involved in conducting the assessment of the structural safety.

A senior official of the department told DH, “As soon as the flood water recedes and rain loses intensity, we will begin the survey and grade quality of each government school building based on which fitness certificate will be issued.”

This sentiment was echoed by SR Umashankar, principal secretary department of primary and secondary education. “Once we get the report on the number of schools damaged and need attention, we will request the government to release more funds. Academic activities at these schools will begin only after getting confirmation on quality of the building,” said Umashankar.

The certification will fix the life span of the building, repairs needed, construction quality, strength and materials used during construction etc.

“We will also check the capacity of the building to sustain heavy rains, floods and other natural calamities,” the official said.

A previous survey on the state of school buildings had painted a pathetic picture. Of the total 2,08,681 government primary school buildings, about 43,000 classrooms needed major repairs. This came out following a survey conducted by the department during 2018-19 academic year.

The situation is no different among government high schools.

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