The BJP on Thursday cited a purported communication of the Delhi government that highlighted “corruption and other deficiencies” in construction of many school buildings to slam the ruling AAP in the national capital. The Delhi government, however, said the education department wrote the letter on instructions of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia so that if there were any deficiencies, they could be removed.
Addressing a press conference here, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra shared the contents of the letter and claimed that it has brought forth the truth about the Delhi government’s handling of the education sector. “A number of complaints have been received from various schools regarding non-completion of work, use of low quality material, various deficiencies in the construction by PWD (Public Works Department). These shortcomings hamper the very purpose of the Directorate of Education,” Patra said, quoting from the letter dated July 20.
The complaints mentioned in the letter include corruption, dangerous condition of buildings, work using low quality material and various other deficiencies, he noted. “Due to the above mentioned complaints, running of the schools has been very much difficult and it poses threat to the students and staff and school properties also,” he said, reading out from the communication.
In a statement, the government said, “In the second phase of construction programme, 12,000 classrooms were built in about 240 schools. Deputy chief minister, PWD minister and senior officials of both the departments have been conducting regular inspections at different stages of construction. During the course of such inspections, the deputy chief minister had instructed the heads of concerned schools to point out any shortcomings in the construction before taking over the possession of new buildings.” “On the instructions of the deputy chief minister, the education department has written to the PWD, so that the deficiencies, if any, can be removed. This letter is part of this exercise,” the statement said. The BJP leader said the letter has raised the same questions that his party has been asking for long.
Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, who held the PWD portfolio and is now in jail on money laundering charges, used to make tall claims about their government’s work in the education sector, he said, alleging that it was all propaganda. The complaints, he added, are related to work of the PWD department which was helmed by Jain. “Kejriwal and Sisodia gave him a clean chit. Was this the good work he was doing,” Patra asked.
“Education is not a matter of propaganda and advertisement. It is a priority sector,” he said, adding that the BJP wants answers from Kejriwal on the charges of corruption and use of substandard materials.