Meerut/Bijnor: Over a decade after a private company based in Lucknow was awarded contracts to build 64 Kasturba Gandhi Residential Schools for Girls across 17 districts in UP, its project manager has been arrested by the economic offences wing (EOW). The company allegedly worked in collusion with education department officials, three of whom face an inquiry, to claim 90% of the project cost before abandoning the project, embezzling crores.
In 2008, the Centre had released funds for the project, launched in 2004, to build residential schools for girls from weaker sections. Each school would have space for 100 girls and classes from VI to VIII. The first violation occurred in how the contract itself was awarded. “The rules say that the work can only be given to a government agency or a cooperative agency. But here, it was allotted to a private company. The basic shiksha adhikari (BSA) then, Varun Kumar, was suspended,” said a Bijnor-based official on condition of anonymity. That one company had been awarded projects across 17 districts was also a red flag.
In Bijnor alone, 13 schools were to be built at Rs 36 lakh each. The deadline was 2010. But the company did not finish even one while it siphoned off 90% of the budget. In 2012, the company was blacklisted and an FIR registered at Bijnor police station. Three company officials were booked — managing director Bhikarey Singh, chief manager Vinod Singh and project manager Dharmender Singh. They had all been on the…

Read more…