Hyderabad: A contractor locked up a government-run school in Telangana as authorities had not cleared his bill for revamping the school building.
The incident occurred in Chintakunta village in Kothapalli mandal of Karimnagar district.
Students of the Mandal Parishad Primary School had to stand outside as the contractor locked the school as he was vexed over the delay in clearing his bills for executing some works under "Mana Ooru, Mana Badi" scheme of the state government.
Srikanth said he had spent Rs 4.5 lakh on the development works but his bill was not cleared by the authorities concerned.
The contractor claimed to have completed about 75 per cent of the work but officials have not released any money. Since he had carried out the works by borrowing money and the pressure was mounting on him to repay the loan, he had no option but to lock the school to draw attention of the authorities.
Srikanth succeeded in his effort as District Educational Officer Janardhan Rao who sent the Mandal Educational Officer to look into the issue. The contractor relented after the intervention of the MEO, who assured that his bills would be cleared as soon as possible.
This is the second such incident in Telangana in one-and-a-half months. In the last week of July, a building contractor in Warangal district had locked classrooms of a government primary school over the non-payment of bills, forcing students to sit in the open and attend classes.
The contractor had undertaken the construction of two classrooms, a toilet and a ramp at Nikonda Mandal Government Primary School at a cost of Rs 20 lakh.
The contractor had to run from pillar to post but received only Rs 10 lakh. A few months ago he locked the school toilet but re-opened the same after the Education Department officials assured to clear his bills. As the pending amount was not released, the contractor locked two classrooms and the toilet.
The contractor claimed that he had taken a loan for the construction and the interest on the amount has been adding to his troubles which forced him to take drastic action. He relented after senior officials of the Education Department intervened and promised to settle the bills.
Under the Mana Ooru Mana Badi programme, the state government plans to improve infrastructure in 26,000 government schools across the state with an outlay of Rs 7,289 crore in three phases.
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