Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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School building in tatters in NGH; contractor under fire

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From Our Correspondent

Resubelpara, June 6: In yet another shocker coming from the education stable from Garo Hills, a school building in a government SSA school, which was scheduled for repair by the state, has been left in tatters despite the contractor, through a photo of another school, being allowed to with the amount for the contract.
The matter came to light after villagers complained to the Achik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM), Bajengdoba unit in North Garo Hills as a section of the crumpled school building being sanctioned for repair and completely unusable. The school in question is the Rongjalangre Government LP School under the Bajengdoba Block.
The school, as per locals, has enrollment of over 70 students from nearby areas and currently only has one school building that houses all classes. The repair of the school building was sanctioned in the financial year, 2022-23, with a completion report by the contractor being submitted on Jan 16, 2023.
“We paid a visit to the school today, Jun 6 and were shocked by what we saw. On papers, the school building has been completely repaired and money has been withdrawn by the contractor (identified as Bruselish C Marak of Williamnagar, EGH). We immediately approached the district authorities from NGH for an answer,” said unit president, Kolingwat D Sangma, who was part of the team that went to the village.
The school building in question is not in a condition to be used by even animals and its repair could have helped the children that come daily for better education and less cramping in seats.
AHAM immediately approached the district administration. An ADC, who they met this afternoon, assured them of sending the BDO for a spot check to verify the findings. Further, they also approached the Education department authorities where another interesting thing was revealed. As per the group, the contractor allegedly submitted a completion report that was apparently signed off by the principal of the same school, following which the monies were released to him. An angry AHAM then once again spoke to the principal (feeling he was in cahoots) who firmly denied that he had signed off any report of completion. He stated that both the sign and seal, used in the completion report, were fake.
The NGH education department also revealed that all school building contracts and its execution were being looked after from Shillong by the higher ups from the department and they had no say in the matter at all. In fact, despite being the ones who needed to do checks, their role had been completely taken over.
“How did those authorities, who were supposed to check the completion of the building, pay off the contractor without spot checking? Further the contractor submitted a photo to show the school rooms were complete from another school and this should have alerted the authorities to check before any payments were made. This is ridiculous to say the least,” felt Sangma.
AHAM has now decided that they would urge the villagers to file a police complaint against the contractor as well as those behind passing the bill so that such impudent acts were not repeated.
“We have also been assured by the education authorities that they too would file a police complaint on the matter and seek action on what happened,” added the unit president.

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