A day after banning purchase of luxury items by the state government until state-run schools are equipped with basic amenities, the Uttarakhand High Court today summoned top officials to explain the financial constraints in improving the education sector. Acknowledging the fact that the implementation of the order for providing all facilities at one go will be a strain on the state’s finances, the court directed that the basic amenities be provided for the moment. Principal secretaries in finance and education were summoned by the court. The division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Alok Singh held that benches, tables, sanitation and clean drinking water are the basic and most important amenities which must be provided first.
Clean drinking water is especially important with the increase in incidence of water-borne diseases such as jaundice which are already on the rise in the state. The court held that a sum of Rs 100 crore will be more than enough to cover the expenses for providing basic necessities as a first step. Advocate General S N Babulkar undertook that he will pursue the matter at the higher level. The court said an appropriate amount be set aside for improving the education system. The court stated that given the summer season the government can buy items like water coolers and other necessities subject to clearance from the Principal Secretary concerned.