AAP denies school scam, BJP complains to police

Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that the AAP government is ready to spend Rs 25 lakh for each room in a government school building. (File Photo)

A day after Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari alleged a Rs 2,000 crore scam in the construction of classrooms in Delhi schools, India Today TV, along with Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia, on Tuesday visited some government schools in the national capital.

Meanwhile, leaders of the BJP’s Delhi unit on Tuesday filed a police complaint seeking registration of an FIR against officials and contractors involved in the construction of classrooms of Delhi government schools at rates five times higher than the usual cost.

India Today TV team first visited a government school in East Delhi’s Vinod Nagar where new blocks were constructed by the AAP government. Refuting the corruption charges, Sisodia made fresh allegations against the BJP, alleging that the standing committee of the BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) come out with a proposal to construct 43 rooms in a school at a cost of Rs 10.73 crore, which means Rs 24.95 lakh per room.

This estimate doesn’t include the cost of furniture, electricity fittings, water harvesting systems, sewage treatment plant, corridors, lab equipment etc, he said. “This means it is not the AAP but the BJP which is indulging in corruption,” alleged Sisodia.

Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta alleged that CM Kejriwal and his deputy were misleading public on the cost of construction of classrooms in Delhi government schools by drawing a comparison with the construction of a school building by the SDMC.

The SDMC’s estimate is for the construction of the entire two-floor school building, right from laying the foundation to the construction of pucca building comprising 30 classrooms, two storerooms, two officer rooms, two libraries and one hall equivalent to three rooms, two science rooms and toilets blocks on at each floor. The cost includes link provision for rainwater harvesting, earthquake resistant technology, structural stability, boundary wall etc, he said in a statement.

During the inspection, Ishika, a Class 12 student, said girl students would earlier bring mats to sit as there were no chairs and desks but all of that has changed now. Gupta said that the Delhi government cannot hide the truth behind fallacious arguments.

There are number of contradictions between its tall claims and ground realities. Sisodia said that the AAP government is ready to spend Rs 25 lakh for each room in a government school building if that fulfils the objective of imparting quality education. India Today TV also visited some schools in Mandawali in East Delhi.

“Delhi has a pass percentage of 95 per cent, no other state boasts of such an achievement,” he said.

The complaint, filed by Delhi BJP media relation head Neelkant Bakshi and spokesperson Harish Khurana, asked the police to book persons responsible for the scam – whether it was against ministers, officials or contractors.

The complaint was filed with the New Delhi district police. Citing an RTI reply, Tiwari had on Monday claimed that the AAP government constructed 12,782 classrooms at a cost of Rs 2,892 crore and this could have been done by spending just Rs 800 crore.

He had also demanded the resignation of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who is incharge of the education department.