‘Misuse’ of reconstruction funds rampant in Kavre schools

Govt has allocated Rs430m to build temporary learning centres in the areas where the school buildings were destroyed by the quakes

Jan 10, 2016-The management of earthquake-ravaged Setidevi Primary School at Kanpur-4 in Kavre district has been accused of embezzling government funds meant for building temporary classes. 

After a social organisation set up a temporary learning centre and repaired two classrooms and furniture in the school, the school management allegedly misused Rs60,000 provided by the District Education Office. 

Headmaster Ramlala Thakur claimed that the money had been deposited in school’s bank account, saying, “the amount is insufficient to reconstruct the building”. However, parents said that the amount had been spent on miscellaneous purposes. 

This is just an example to show irregularities in quake relief distribution. The DEO has provided Rs60,000-Rs300,000 to the quake-ravaged schools as per the severity of damage to their infrastructure. A majority of the schools have allegedly embezzled the funds meant of rebuilding works by creating false receipts. As various social organisations extended them help to set up infrastructure after the quake, many schools were found to have shown construction expenses, including the help from such organisations. 

The government has allocated Rs430 million to the DEOs to build temporary learning centres in the areas where the school buildings were completely destroyed by the quakes. 

District Education Officer Dipendra Gurung has warned of stern action against any school managements involved in such irregularities. “I will also send the written complaints against those schools to the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority,” said Gurung. 

Around 500 schools in the district were destroyed by the April 25 earthquake. The District Development Committee (DDC) had issued permits to 73 organisations to work in the quake-ravaged areas, but it is unclear what they are doing exactly. 

Maya Bade, an officer at the DDC, said none of the social organisations have informed about their works. “We are also unable to inspect them,” she conceded. 

Chief District Officer Madan Bhujel said he would take legal action against anyone found involved in irregularities. “The genuine quake victims should get the relief,” said Bhujel. 

Meanwhile, 257 quake-affected households of Mahadevsthan in the district are still deprived of Rs15,000  government aid to buy galvanized zinc sheets. 

The victims could not build temporary shelters as the VDC failed to distribute amount to all due to lack of funds. Around 136 households had received relief amount through fake claims, Niraula said.


Published: 10-01-2016 08:34

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