No power in half of AP's schools

More than 30 lakh students in about 20,000 schools may have to spend yet another summer in the heat without any fans or coolers.

With summer approaching, 50 per cent of government primary schools in Andhra Pradesh are without electricity.
More than 30 lakh students in about 20,000 schools across the state may have to spend yet another summer in scorching heat without fans and coolers.

Though the AP Government has set a fresh deadline ­ March 31 -for electrification of these schools, chances of that happening look bleak. "If the work could not be completed in 120 days, how do you expect it to be completed in just 50 days?" asked an official of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA).

The project, which had started in August 2010, was to be completed in November 2010, but owing to the lackadaisical attitude of the SSA and power department officials, it remained incomplete.

Moreover, the statistics collected by the SSA authorities show that when it comes to electrification of schools, Telangana is way behind Andhra and Rayalaseema. Only 40 per cent of the schools in Telangana have electricity, as against 60 per cent in Andhra, followed by Rayalaseema at 50 per cent. Hyderabad and Warangal are the worst performers, with only 30 per cent of schools in each district having access to electricity. Srikakulum is leading with 90 per cent electrification in primary schools.

The SSA director, Mr Mohammad Ali Rafat, however, blamed the project directors and headmasters for the delay in the project.

“The headmasters and project directors were waiting for instructions from my office, whereas, Andhra, especially Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam, took the initiative.”
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