Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat president Koragappa Naik said on Tuesday that many irregularities had come to his notice in Model Residential School in Belthangady town, established under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

This is one of the five model schools developed in the State under SSA.

He told reporters on the sidelines of the monthly review meeting of Karnataka Development Programmes (KDP) that replies received to an RTI application he had filed through a friend had revealed that an amount of Rs. 13.4 lakh was sanctioned for creation of infrastructure for the mid-day meal scheme this year but hardly any facilities had been provided.

He said the money was sanctioned in two instalments and another Rs. 18 lakh is to be released for the school.

Mr. Naik said that though 20 bicycles meant for schoolchildren elsewhere were sent to the school, only three were available in stocks. He had found that rice meant to be consumed by other schools under the mid-day meal had been diverted to the Belthangady school.

His information was that there was a separate allocation of rice for the Belthangady School and he suspected irregularities in the transfer of rice, which need to be probed.

Though beds worth over Rs. 26,500 were gutted in a fire, the incident was not reported to the police. He said the officials’ argument that a short circuit had caused the fire was not convincing. He said many officials will be punished if an enquiry was held. “Already an official has vacated his post,” he said.

When he raised this in the meeting earlier, an officer admitted that she had not visited the school as there was no written complaint. Deputy Director Public Instruction Moses Jayashekhar said though the local officer had sent a report about the issues, he was yet to see it.

Deputy Secretary of the Panchayat N.R. Umesh asked the DDPI and other officials concerned to visit the school and submit a detailed report to him.

Road to nowhere

Earlier, Mr. Naik pointed out that a 3.5km road tarred at a cost of Rs. 75 lakh between Thotattadi and Chibidri in Belthangady taluk over two years ago had been rendered useless as a small bridge on it had remained incomplete.

When a PWD official said this was because only Rs. 5 lakh of Rs. 10 lakh sanctioned under a scheme for the development of Malnad area had been released.

Mr. Umesh pointed out that when the bridge had been awarded to a contractor under a tender, PWD was duty-bound to get the work done. The road had remained unused because of the failure of the officials to complete the bridge, Mr. Umesh said.

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