— Dawn photos
— Dawn photos

NAROWAL: The boundary wall of the Government Girls High School Sarjal, tehsil Shakargarh of district Narowal could not be constructed while the building remains incomplete despite the passage seven years since the inauguration of the project due the alleged negligence of education authorities.

PML-N former MPA Chaudhry Awais Qasim had inaugurated the building built with Rs4.5m in 2013 over an area of 3 kanals. It had classrooms, washrooms, electricity and water but the boundary wall was missing.

Due to the negligence of District Education Authority (DEA) Narowal and district administration neither the boundary wall could be constructed nor could the classes be started in the school.

The influential persons are allegedly using the compound as cattle shed and the main building as a store for the animal fodder. There is a big pond at the high school where insects breed and the stagnant water gives foul smell. The doors, windows and roofs of school classrooms are facing damage with the passage of time. In absence of classes, the girls of Sarjal and the area around it have to go to far-off villages by transport to get education.

The locals, Muhammad Aslam and Allah Ditta, said, “There is a girls elementary school at Sarjal. Former PML-N MPA Chaudhry Rana Awais Qasim had got the high school constructed but some miscreants are creating hindrances to its completion”. They demanded the government take immediate action or the new building would be ruined.

Narowal District Education Authority Chief Executive Officer Zulfiqar Ahmad Mohal admitted that the school building could not be completed and the classes could not be started. He alleged the piece of land at which the school had been constructed was donated by a local but he had not transferred the land to the government and his family had got the construction stopped.

“They are not letting the government construct its boundary wall. Instead, they have constructed a room in order to show their custody.”

Zulfiqar Mohal said the locals had made an offer to the education department to donate an alternate plot of land for the school and hopefully the problems would be resolved soon and the classes would start.

The locals demanded Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar hold an inquiry into the matter as to why millions of rupees were spent on the land which was not yet transferred to the government. They demanded completion of the boundary wall as early as possible so that the local girls might get education at their own village.

Muhammad Afzal and Muhammad Arif, who had donated the land, said, “We are not landlords. We just wanted girls of our village not to go to far-off villages to get education so we donated the piece of land to the government”.

They claimed to have transferred the land to the school. They expressed their shock at the incomplete building due to the negligence of officials.

Former vice-chairman of Narowal District Council and ex-chairman, Union Council Sarjal, Chaudhry Shehzad Munir, said the land was transferred to the school in the revenue record.

— Dawn photos
— Dawn photos

“l myself submitted applications thrice to the deputy commissioner office in order to get the school building completed and met Narowal District Education Authority chief executive officer (CEO) to tell him about the bad condition of school building for a number of times.”

Mr Munir said the statement of education CEO was wrong that the land had not been transferred to the school and he didn’t visit the school even once. He added that the government funds that had been spent on the building were wasted.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2020