Nagpur: Varsha Gaikwad, School Education Minister has said that local body schools will no longer have to face power cuts on outstanding bills. Because now the state has made financial allocation for it. Varsha Gaikwad has said in a statement that the schools will get an uninterrupted power supply, for which special fund allocation has now been made. The state is also considering a separate electricity policy for schools, However, it is not at all clear at this stage whether private unaided schools will also be included or not.
School education minister Varsha Gaikwad said that now, they have decided that the local body schools will never have to face a similar disconnect at all. For this, Finance Minister Ajit Pawar has already sanctioned around Rs 14 crore and has also promised more to him if the demand comes.
Zilla Parishad schools also receive grants for annual expenditure and the amount is linked to the number of students enrolled. These also annual expenditure grants allow them to pay for electricity, general maintenance, annual works, etc.
An employee of the education department said on condition of anonymity that the budget of Zilla Parishad schools is hardly enough to meet their cost.
Zilla Parishad had to spend around Rs 10 lakh
The employee has said that you are looking at a budget of up to Rs 1,000 and sometimes even less, per month. In the earlier days, this was quite enough as the electricity bills were hardly around Rs.500 to Rs.700. But now almost every school has a computer and some schools also have some more digital learning setups donated by NGOs. Because of this, even if schools get these items absolutely free of cost, then only the schools have to bear the running cost.
Even before this, in the year 2016, the Zilla Parishad had to spend around Rs 10 lakh to clear the pending dues and get the meters connected once again. In 2018, a few lakhs had been deposited with the state-run power company as stop-gap payments to restore electricity to schools. But with School education minister Varsha Gaikwad’s latest announcement, similar issues may soon become a thing of the past. With funds already allocated, the 2022-23 session promises to be a worry-free year for Zilla Parishad schools.