PWD to resume projects in schools


Government schools in the state waiting for new toilets, additional classrooms, compound walls and security gates for close to seven years can finally hope for the works to be completed.
The works allotted to the Public works department (PWD) were caught in a vicious cycle as after considerable delay, not only had the costs escalated, but officials found it difficult to quantify the amount utilized and pending with the PWD of 16.50 crore allotted to it since 2005.
After a series of marathon meetings held by education secretary Keshav Chandra with officials of the PWD and Goa sarva shiksha abhiyan – through whom the works were allotted-it emerged that 87 lakh of the amount paid to the PWD were pending with its various divisions and that it required 2.31 crores to complete the remaining works.
"Some of the work orders did not have the necessary details on them, which did not make the task of sorting out the finances any easier," a source said.
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who is also the education minister, with the help of the education secretary decided to end the long-drawn saga and get the PWD to resume work on the projects involving over 150 government schools. Sources said that it has been decided that 85 lakh will be raised through NABARD and the balance amount awaited by the PWD will be provided from the state coffers so the works can begin again and schools are provided with the infrastructure they have been waiting for over seven years now.
"The works were going on for seven to eight years. The PWD was paid to carry out the works, but as time went by, the estimates went up from what was originally prepared. It was a mammoth task to tally the figures and reconcile them. Now that the books are clear and the chief minister has decided to make provision for the balance amount due to the PWD, we are hoping that remaining works like electrification will be completed," the education secretary said.
PWD chief engineer J S Rego said, "Payments were pending to the PWD for the last four years for the works carried out. Close to 80 lakh has been paid to us from the pending amount and we are waiting for over 1 crore to be paid still, which we are told will be done soon. After the payment of the amount, we will be able to carry out whatever work remains." [TOI]