By Tejang Chakma
Published in Merinews on 19 May 2012
"The Centre's Multi-Sectoral Development Programme is being implemented in Arunachal Pradesh. In Changlang district, the school buildings for the Govt Secondary School, Diyun was selected under the MsDP in 2010. But the construction is yet to start."
IN 2008, the Government of India introduced Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) to address the development deficits in the minority concentrated districts across the country.
The state government of Arunachal Pradesh has been implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Multi-Sectoral Development Programme(MsDP) of the Ministry of Minority Affairs. Many projects are undertaken for the welfare and development of the minority communities in the state. The scheme is being implemented in Changlang district, which is a category 'A' district having both socio-economic and basic amenities parameters below the national average. The fund allocated for the district under MsDP Plan was Rs. 1870 lakh for the 11th Five Year Plan.
The Empowered Committee of the Ministry of Minorities Affairs during its 37th Meeting held on August 23, 2010, approved, among others, the proposal of the state government to construct the buildings of the Government Secondary School, Diyun under Changlang district. The state government informed the Empowered Committee that the school was selected as it falls in minority concentration areas. As per the agreement the construction would be concrete brick buildings from classes 1 to X to replace bamboo structure with Semi Permanent Type (SPT) building.
|View of a dilapidated classroom of Diyun Govt. Sec. School|
The Diyun Secondary School, constructed initially by the Chakmas themselves on a self-help basis, is the only secondary level school meant for a population of about 46,000 Chakma Buddhist minorities in Changlang district. Since then the condition of the school remained dismal. The school remained overcrowded and infrastructure appalling. Due to poor study environment the quality of education has taken a back seat.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA) has already released the fund meant for the construction of the school. The total cost of the project was 50 lakhs in the ratio of 90:10 between Centre and State. The first installment of Rs. 22.50 lakhs of the central share was released by the end of 2010. However, the government is yet to start infrastructure-construction work of the school till date.
The projects under the MsDP are required to be completed during 11th Five Year Plan period. The state government will have to return the fund if it remained unused. Surprisingly, the Deputy Commissioner informed the Empowered Committee during its 51st meeting held November 25, 2011 that the utilization certificate for the project will be submitted by January, 2012.
It is beyond one’s imagination as to how the Deputy Commissioner assured to submit the utilization certificate without any construction work started on the ground.
Timely construction of the school buildings could have solved half of the problem in the school. The question is bound to arise - where has the money gone, and have these Buddhist minorities been denied the benefit of the minority scheme because they belong to the Chakma community?