Karnataka: 3,400 schools severely damaged by floods yet to see redevelopment

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BENGALURU: Nearly 3,400 schools that sustained severe damage during heavy rain and subsequent floods in 15 educational districts and needed to be rebuilt are yet to witness any kind of renovation six months later. Of the 6,000 schools which required partial repair, only around 1,000 are ready, while work is under way in over 4,500.

The flood-affected schools were divided into two categories — those which had to be demolished and built from scratch and others which needed repair. The government released Rs 199 crore for repair through the districts’ deputy commissioners, but no allocation was made for institutions where where classrooms were completely damaged and had to be rebuilt.

According to the January 28 data available with the planning section of department of public instruction (DPI), repair work in 1,034 schools has been completed and has been initiated in another 4,513. It is yet to begin in 525 schools, of which the highest number is in Shivamogga district.

The government has approached National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development Fund (NABARD) for funds to rebuild classrooms. “We’ve been informed that Rs 600 crore will be granted from rural development funds for school reconstruction. However, we are yet to get written approval,” said KG Jagadeesha, commissioner for public instruction.

The cost of reconstruction ranges from Rs 11.5 lakh to Rs 17.2 lakh per school. Around 6,500 classrooms in 3,227 primary schools and 159 high schools have to be rebuilt.

No damaged school is completely ready in Gadag, Uttara Kannada, Chikkamagaluru and Dakshina Kannada districts. In Udupi, where 135 schools were affected, work has been completed in only five. Belagavi has the highest number of schools which have been renovated (232), followed by Shivamogga (149), Hassan (135) and Dharwad (133).