[ Tongam Rina ]
ITANAGAR, Jun 11: Most toilets in government-run schools in the capital complex do not have access to water supply.
Of the 36 schools surveyed in Itanagar, 18 do not have access to water supply, while there is irregular water supply in the rest.
The only exceptions in Itanagar are Govt Higher Secondary School Chimpu and Govt Middle School (GMS) Lobi, which have usable toilets with regular water supply.
Govt Primary School (GPS) Richi, Itanagar, has just one toilet, without water supply, and had a roof which was constructed by the school management committee but was blown away by strong winds recently.
In GPS Kongko, students are dependent on a nearby stream as there is no water supply at all in the school.
In Naharlagun-Nirjuli area, of the 33 schools surveyed, 12 do not have water supply at all. GPS Karmajuli, near Nirjuli, does not have a single toilet, and there is no water supply in the school.
GMS Barapani does not have a separate toilet for girls, while GMS Puroik Colony has four old toilets, of which three do not have doors. The school lacks a proper pipeline for water supply.
The famed Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy has 10 toilets (six for boys and four for girls) and four urinals for girls, but without proper water supply. Departmental water supply is not functional; therefore a mortised water supply system has been installed there. There is sufficient infrastructure but maintenance is low, with some urinals being used as dustbins.
The condition in these schools was revealed in a social audit report compiled in mid-April by the Itanagar and Naharlagun branches of the Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society (APWWS), at the request of Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan, who has commissioned Rs 25 lakhs for maintenance of toilets and provision of water supply in the schools.
Capital Complex PHE Executive Engineer Tadar Mangku said the department has already initiated repair of toilets as well as provision of water supply, including installation of water storage tanks in the schools of the capital region, at the intervention of the DC.
Regarding the lack of water supply in the schools, Mangku said his department is responsible for water supply in the school compounds while it is the responsibility of the PWD to install internal water supply within school buildings.
He said schools have to inform the PHE department for water supply, and have to pay some amount to get the required connection.
The capital complex DDSE did not respond to phone calls and text messages for her reaction to the state of the affairs in the capital region.
An official of the district administration said the PHED has already initiated the repair work and the verification of work completed is being currently carried out in all the schools. The remaining funds will be released after the verification by the administration is completed.
The survey further reveals that most schools in the capital region do not have adequate number of toilets, and even the ones that have toilets are not well maintained.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Arunachal Times, Dhawan said the administration will ensure that there are functional toilets with running water facility in all the schools. “The PHED is already on the job, and funds will be released to the department for completion of the work,” he said.
[ Tongam Rina ]