Forty per cent of schools in Koraput do not have access to safe water for cooking mid-day meals. Majority of 2,757 schools in the district are located in rural areas.
Although the schools have tube-wells, many of them are lying in dilapidated condition. Schools in hilly areas like Laxmipur, Narayanpatna, Badhugam, Nandapur, Potangi and Semiliguda are dependent on streams as there are little chance of digging up bore-wells.
Of the tube-wells used by the schools, 500 are in urgent need of repair. Due to lack of maintenance by the Water and Sanitation Department, these tube-wells frequently develop snags, much to the inconvenience of mid-day meal workers who have to search for alternate source to collect water.
Similar situation prevails in Jeypore sub-division which gas around 700 tube-wells. But the water pumped out by the tube-wells is polluted and unfit for consumption. Yet, the noon meal workers have no other option.
While teachers said water for cooking mid-day meals has become their prime concern, the administration has been sitting pretty over the issue. They had recently urged the School and Mass Education Department to look into provision of water to schools. But they are yet to get any response.