Better Late Officials want ‘to avoid further delay’
Six months into the academic session, South Municipal Corporation commissioner Manish Gupta said municipal school students will not get notebooks this session. Following this, the Standing Committee on Tuesday ordered the commissioner to give students cash for notebooks.
Till now, cash transfer was approved only for students’ uniforms. “I want you to direct your Finance department to give cash, like you did for uniforms, to students now that you have failed to give notebooks, which is shameful for the corporation,” Standing Committee chairperson Rajesh Gehlot told Gupta.
The issue was raised in the House by Leader of Opposition Farhad Suri. “The officials have robbed the students of their fundamental right to free and compulsory education under the Right To Education Act. The corporation might have to take losses due to the delay, as the prices have been revised according to the new rates. I wonder if the officials would have been sitting on files for months if their children were studying in these schools,” Suri said.
North Municipal Corporation, the nodal civic agency, took two months to send samples of notebooks to a private laboratory for approval. It spent another month to approve the sample approved by the laboratory.
The process, which started on May 24, is awaiting approval from the Finance department.
Ironically, there was only one expert in the technical committee formed to approve the samples — Director (Printing and Stationery). Members were Jasram Kaim, Additional Director (Education); N K Ghai, Deputy Director (Education); Jagdish Joshi, Assistant Director (Purchase); Sanjay Gupta, deputy chief accountant (Planning); P K Raja, executive engineer and P K Gupta, Director (printing and stationery).
This committee was formed before trifurcation. It took two months to send the sample for approval and another month to check whether the approved sample met specifications.
The price evaluation committee was formed in July. Another four-member committee was formed on October 12 to survey the market and get the rates before starting negotiations with the successful bidder.
“On November 26, negotiations were completed with an increase of 2 paise for normal notebooks and Rs 1.25 for drawing books. The file is awaiting concurrence from CA cum Finance and will be sent to three corporations for their perusal,” a senior member of the committee said.