After missing the deadline of December 2019 for completion of classrooms, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday informed that the new classrooms will be made available for the students in the coming academic session. Last year on January 28, 2019, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia had laid the foundation stone for 11,000 new classrooms for Delhi schools, marking the biggest expansion phase for the government school infrastructure.
Giving clarification about the delay Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio said that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was operational for the Lok Sabha elections between March and May 2019 which caused the delay. He further informed that the court ban was also imposed on all construction work in Delhi since October 2019 on account of severe air pollution and Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was imposed in the capital.
The education minister also informed that no new tender was allowed during the operation of the MCC hence work in some places started later than expected. In December 2019, the Supreme court had partially lifted the ban on construction activities in the Delhi-NCR region which allowed construction between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. This ban was completely removed on February 14. The deadline for building about 12,000 new rooms was from January 2019 to December 2019.
The Delhi cabinet in July 2018, approved the proposal of building 12,478 new rooms in the schools. Out of which 9,981 will be the classrooms, 106 multi-purpose halls, 328 laboratories, and others, including libraries, rooms for principals and vice-principals and staffrooms in the existing premises of Delhi government schools under the jurisdiction of Directorate of Education. An estimated cost of Rs 2,892.65 crore was sanctioned for the purpose and the Public Works Department is the executing agency for this project. As per the government, out of 1,024 government schools, over 280 are running in double shifts with a high enrolment of students. The proposal for new classrooms was designed to accommodate these students.