Even after new buildings were constructed under various schemes, children at anganwadis remain in rented buildings that are dilapidated with damaged roofs. Of the 36 newly constructed buildings, none have been handed over to the authorities concerned by the contractors, citing non-payment of dues.
“The repair work of the anganwadi centre in our village was completed more than a year ago, but the contractor has not handed over the key to the anganwadi workers as he is yet to be paid for the work. The centre is presently functioning at a rented building,” said a villager of Melakuppam, in Arcot block.
This isn’t unique to Arcot block, but is, in fact, prevalent across the district. Officials have turned a blind eye to the sad state of the existing structures. “We are clueless as to why officials have not settled the dues of the contractors,” said an official of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
Sources in the district administration said, out of the 80 proposed centres, 36 were completed. However, most of the contractors did not hand over the buildings citing non-settlement of dues.
Each centre was constructed at a cost of around Rs 3.5 lakh, while the repair and renovation work was taken up to the tune of Rs 1 lakh.
The apparent neglect has put the lives of children, aged betwe en 3-5 years, in grave danger as several centres were functioning in dilapidated buildings, according to the sources.
ICDS officials had raised the issue with the district administration