Mumbai: BMC does not have architects for school repairs

Around 50 civic schools need repair and reconstruction, but the BMC’s School Infrastructure Cell has only one architect; its chairman says four were transferred

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may have a mammoth budget to show on paper, but the civic body doesn’t seem to have enough time to appoint professionals to do work.

The civic School Infrastructure Cell (SIC), which is responsible for repair and reconstruction work in civic school buildings, has just one architect. The cell was created a few years ago and entrusted with the purpose of looking after repair work on civic school buildings, which, more often than not, are in a state of disrepair.

But, instead of the provisioned six architects, the cell currently has one. Around 100-odd schools were in need of repairs last year, and work was commissioned on half of them. The others, however, are yet to see anyone lift a hammer.

Corporator Vinod Shelar, who is also the chairman of the BMC’s Education committee, expressed his displeasure with the civic administration’s lackadaisical approach to the issue. He claimed that the body earlier had five architects, but four of them were shifted to the Hospital Infrastructure Cell.

The civic body hasn’t hired any replacements yet. Said Shelar, “SIC has one architect. There were more people earlier, but four of them were transferred to the hospital cell. The repairs of many school buildings are pending and the administration is not bothered about hiring competent architects, despite the necessity.”

An officer from the Education department concurred, “There is lot of pending work to be done by the SIC, but due to lack of staff the work cannot be completed.”

Official speak

SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, who attended the Standing Committee meeting where this point of order was raised by Shelar, said, “I will get the details and reply next time.”

452
Approximate number of BMC schools in the city

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