Bhubaneswar, Oct 13 (LocalWire): The Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) after a survey in government-run primary and secondary schools found 42% of these institutions running without electricity.
The state has 67,671 schools with 37,369 in primary level, 20,783 upper primary and 9,519 high schools. Of these government-run institutions, 29,000 of them are not electrified, according to findings by OSEPA.
The Mayurbhanj district in the northern parts of the state accounts for 2,966 schools that run without power while 1783 schools in Keonjhar do not have electricity.
Electric connection is not available in 1,607 schools in Sundargarh, 1,601 in Koraput, 1,563 schools in Kandhamal and 1,507 in Rayagada district, the OSEPA study informed.
‘These schools are being covered under electricity in a phased manner.
We are planning to electrify all the schools within a year,’ said a senior official of school and mass education department, Priti Pratibha Bhol.
Around 500 schools in Mayurbhanj have been electrified in the past 18 months.
The government is intent on cent percent electrification of schools, she added.
With power supply eluding some of the high schools, these institutions have been denied computer lab facility to empower the students in information technology, the official informed.
There are no funds allocated for schools to pay the pending electricity bills.
The school authorities are forced to divert Rs 5,000 annual school improvement grants towards electricity bill payment.
Non-payment of bills also leads to electricity supply disconnection by Discoms and majority of the school authorities find it difficult to clear the arrears.
Therefore, the government should allocate fiscal provisions for payment of electricity dues, said a retired school headmaster Ramachandra Rout.