No complaint, no action, says BMC

After incident of molestation came to light, civic body initiates action after receiving a complaint about the swimming pool at Bandra School; says school was not given NOC to conduct swimming classes

If you happen to notice an illegal structure or a filthy swimming pool, but don't complain about it to the officials, the civic body will not take any action against it or even inspect the premises.

A week after MiD DAY published a report about the alleged molestation ('Coach molests 4-yr-old at school pool', Nov 8) at Bandra's St. Stanislaus School, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now decided to inspect the swimming pool of the school by sending medical health officers and the pest control officials today.

Late reaction? Officials will inspect the swimming pool today to
determine the quality of water and then issue the NOC to the school

Prior to the incident, BMC officials claimed that they did not receive any complaint from anyone against the pool, so it wasn't necessary to inspect the pool. When BMC officials were questioned, why no inspection was conducted all these years, officials mentioned that since they didn't receive any form of complaint, they were unaware of the situation. Moreover, officials astoundingly informed that the school doesn't have a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the swimming pool and they may only issue one after the officials inspect the pool.

Sunil Dhamne, assistant municipal commissioner, BMC H-west ward, said, "If the pool, is located inside the school premises then it doesn't need any licence, but an NOC is mandatory to conduct swimming classes. We have scheduled an inspection today to take water samples and also officers from the pest control department will examine if mosquitoes are breeding due to stagnant water."

The incident came to light when parents of a four-year-old girl, who was taking lessons in the pool, complained to the school's principal claiming that the instructor had inappropriately touched her as well as other minor girls in the pool. In a letter written to the school authorities, they also complained about the lack of a basic sanitation system for the pool and the filthy condition of the water. It also alleges that the school, which is using the pool commercially to reap profits, has not bothered to obtain the necessary licence from the BMC.

No permission?
While investigating claims of molestation in the pool last week, school authorities had revealed that they don't have the mandatory BMC permission to conduct swimming classes. According to school officials, the 100-year-old school was in the process of getting permission from H-west ward.

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