BALASORE: Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) funding for construction of school buildings has remained unspent in the district for several years.
The district is likely to lose the funding for the next financial year under the SSA scheme as nearly Rs 1.5 crore allotted for construction of 36 school buildings in the district has not been spent yet. Despite repeated warnings from the district office and respective block development offices, funds are still lying unutilised while students are forced to attend classes in dilapidated structures.
The administration had sanctioned Rs 4.10 lakh each for 36 schools in the first phase between 2012-13 and 2014-15. Schools that were to get new buildings include Elokeshi nodal school, Badasarisa-Sanadabha nodal school, Sukasandha nodal school, Panisandha Urdu school, South Sahapur school and Kanchangadia school in Bhogarai block.
These apart, Rs 22.20 lakh were sanctioned for Gayasur nodal UP school, Patharpur Primary School and Aamatuma Primary School in Jaleswar block in the last three years and though Rs 10.15 lakh were allotted as advance, construction works were not initiated.
Similarly, Rs 14 lakh each were sanctioned for Brahman Baisida school and Pala Champai school in Baliapal block and Rs 6.10 lakh each were disbursed as advance. However, the school committees are yet to lay the foundation stones for the buildings.
While at some places, funds have been sanctioned against schools that do not have land of their own, difference of opinion among members of school managing committee over the expenditure has delayed the work in some other cases.
Education officials, however, alleged that political interference in deciding the site and name of contractor was major reason behind non-utilisation of funds for such a long period.
SSA District Project Coordinator Surendra Prasad Sankhua admitted the schools have failed to utilise funds in time. He said though he had issued letters to 36 schools to return the money, so far only six schools have done so.