Fund crunch forces roads, bridges to the back seat
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 25: Thanks to the abysmal financial condition, there is little hope that the State Government will be able to take up road and bridge construction in the next few years as there is a shortfall of a whooping Rs 10,166.85 lakhs.

Painting this grim picture, Works Minister Gaikhangam, in reply to a question raised by Thangmeiband AC MLA Meinam Bhorot, said that though a total of Rs 10,298.85 lakhs is needed to build roads the State coffer has only Rs 130 lakhs.

Of the Rs 130 lakhs available with the State Government, Rs 55 lakhs is earmarked for State Highways, Rs 37 lakhs for major district roads, Rs 25 lakhs for Other District Roads (ODR) and Rs 13 lakhs for Inter-village roads.

Even though the State is shackled by the financial crisis, no efforts will be spared to build and maintain important roads of the State, maintained the Minister.

Reliable sources said that Rs 286.80 lakhs was earmarked for State Highways in the 2000-01 Budget.

Similarly Rs 61.70 lakhs for Major District Roads (MDR) and Rs 60.65 lakhs for ODR were also included in the same Budget.

Sources further said that in the 1999-2000 Budget Rs 454.50 lakhs was set aside for MDR while for ODR the amount was Rs 701.75 lakhs.

The amount earmarked for State Highways during this period was Rs 787 lakhs, added sources.

In 2000-01 the sum set aside for National Highways was Rs 1250 lakhs for original works and Rs 824.49 lakhs for maintenance.

In the 1999-2000 Budget the amount earmarked for original works on the National Highway was Rs 1014.15 lakhs while for maintenance the amount was Rs 826.08 lakhs.

School Education: To a question from Sekmai AC MLA N Biren, MoS for School Education, Maniruddin Sheikh replied that the total number of school teachers in the State is 11,191.Of this total 5,210 teachers are posted at Primary schools.

The number of High School teachers is 30,33 while teachers of aided schools total 1,560.To a further question, the Minister replied that 1,685 schools have their own building while 55 schools have no building of their own.

The Minister further informed the House that there are two schools where there are no teachers.

Responding to a question raised by Thanga AC MLA S Ibohal, Maniruddin said the transfer and posting of teachers would be rationalized.

Under this policy teachers would be spread out to all the schools evenly according to the need and requirements of the particular institution.

Teachers whose services are not much needed in one school would be transferred to another where his service can be utilized better, said the Minister adding that the Education Department has finished-collecting data in this connection.

He assured the House that the new policy would be implemented at the soonest possible time.

Answering the main text of the question, the Minister said there were a number of factors at play which were responsible for the pathetic show put up by the Government schools in this, year's HSLC examination.

The factors furnished by the Minister included, bandhs and strikes which led to loss of 80 school days, lack of Science and Maths teachers, lack of teaching equipment due to the financial crisis, lack of parental guidance, failure to impart refresher course to teachers etc.

To another question, the Minister said that as soon as the examination result was announced, a committee was constituted to find out the reason for the poor showing of the Government schools.

The recommendation of the committee will soon be taken up, he assured.

The Minister also listed the recommendations of the committee in the Assembly, which called for regular staff meeting to assess the progress of the students, to hold extra class to help out the weak students etc.

To implement the recommendations of the committee, special cells would be opened under a Jt Dir of the Education Departt.

Zonal Level Inspection Teams would also be constituted.