Anganwadi centres unsafe despite funds flow
By Express News Service - BHUBANESWAR:
24th July 2012 12:07 PM
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Assembly on Monday rapped the State Government for the poor condition of the Anganwadi centres despite huge flow of funds from the Centre.
Even after two weeks of the Nayagargh tragedy that claimed lives of seven schoolchildren after a roof collapse, the Government does not have any report on the number of Anganwadi centres running in unsafe buildings, Leader of Opposition and PAC chairman Bhupinder Singh told this paper.
Singh, who chaired the PAC meeting on the Assembly premises, sought to know from the Women and Child Development department the actual number of Anganwadi centres functioning in the State, how many of them have their own buildings and the number of centres running in rented buildings.
Besides, he wanted to know the status of the buildings where the Anganwadi centres are functioning.
The PAC specifically wanted to know if the primary school at Ranpur in Nayagarh district, where the tragedy occurred, was declared unsafe and if so, when. The mandarins of the W&CD department could not provide a single reply to the queries raised by the committee, Singh said.
Ironically, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had asked the district collectors on July 10, a day after the school tragedy, to conduct a survey on the condition of the school, hospital and Anganwadi centres at the block-level in their areas and submit their reports by July 25.
The collectors were asked to complete the survey by a special team in a week and take measures for the repair of buildings or make alternative arrangements. Besides, the Chief Minister directed the Revenue Divisional Commissioners (RDCs) and collectors to make a scrutiny of the buildings every year before the monsoon on a priority basis.
What is more galling is that the W&CD department does not have the correct figure on the number Anganwadi centres running in the State, Singh said, adding that while some officers of the department put the number at 71,000, others said more than 72,000 centres are operational.
The PAC has asked the department to come prepared with details of the financial assistance the State Government has received from the Centre, including the 13th Finance Commission award, for construction of building for Anganwadi centres and implementation of the special nutrition programme for undernourished children.
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