Nearly two years after some areas were incorporated under Vellore Corporation, 42 panchayat union schools from these localities have been not handed to the civic body, hindering the proposed development of these institutions.
Along with old corporation areas, two municipalities- Sathuvachari and Tharapadavedu, six town panchayats- Thorapadi, Allapuram, Shenbakkam, Kalinjur, Gandhi Nagar and Katpadi- and nine village panchayats were added to the integrated Vellore corporation limits during local body elections in October 2011.
At that time, 37 schools came under the limits of the old corporation, while 42 institutions, including 23 middle schools and 14 High and higher secondary schools were identified from the newly-added areas for inclusion under the local body.
“Delay in moving papers in the District Education Department delayed the process of handing over schools belonging to the town panchayats to the Corporation,” complains president of the Corporation Education Committee, K Suriya Achari.
He noted that the local body had given an administrative sanction for developmental work to the tune of `3.5 crore for all the schools. These included providing drinking water, facility for purifying water, computer rooms, compound walls and well-equipped playgrounds.
“But, tenders were called for only 37 schools belonging to the old Corporation
limit, to the tune of around Rs 1.5 crore, leaving out the rest of the schools in the newly-added areas,” Suriya Achari added. Officials attributed this decision to the fact that these schools were not officially handed over to the civic body. Achari declared that providing facilities to schools in the newly added areas were most important, as they were functioning in town panchayats for many years with poor facilities. Some schools did not even have regular lavatories for students, he claimed.
Corporation engineer and commissioner in-charge E Devakumar said the local body had sent many letters and demanded an explanation from the schools in the newly-added areas for the delay in handing over documents to the civic body. The district administration has also taken steps to write to the block development officers of the newly-added areas in this regard. Steps to include the schools to the Corporation would be intensified, he added.