Mumbai: 37 civic school buildings may be in danger

Updated: Sep 01, 2019, 07:22 IST | Pallavi Smart

A new list reveals that 37 schools need serious repair work on their structure

Kandivali's Nityanand Road BMC School, where iron pillars have been set up to support the structure
Kandivali's Nityanand Road BMC School, where iron pillars have been set up to support the structure

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)'S budget includes substantial monetary allocations for infrastructural repair and development work of civic school buildings. Yet, there are schools functioning in dangerous conditions. A total of 37 schools have been found to be on a list of buildings which need repair work. This information was revealed after an education committee member issued a concern for the safety of children in civic schools.

The issue was raised by Yuva Sena member Sainath Durge. "During my visits, I have noticed the dire conditions of the buildings of BMC schools. In many cases, parents have put forth the issues of the dodgy structure in meetings. I was appalled by the conditions at one of the schools I went to in Kandivali—Nityanand Road BMC School—where iron pillars are set on the ground floor of the building to support the structure. But the school continues to function with children and staff.

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Kandivali's Nityanand Road BMC School, where iron pillars have been set up to support the structure
Kandivali's Nityanand Road BMC School, where iron pillars have been set up to support the structure

Who would take responsibility if an untoward incident occurs in such case? There is a dedicated School Infrastructure Cell (SIC) in BMC which is expected to look after the repair works in schools and it gets huge monetary allocations during annual budgets. Then why should children should be subjected to such danger?" asked Durge, while demanding to see complete expenditure report of SIC to understand the delay in the process of repair work.

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He further continued, "There are total of 417 civic schools in city. Visiting each school will take a lot of time, so I sought details from the SIC about number of schools which are pending to get repaired. It was shocking to know that there are total of 37 such buildings."

Seema Mirlekar, a parent from the Kandivali school, said, "The support iron rods have been there for past two years. How is it that in that much time, the school hasn't yet been repaired?" Another parent from the same school, requesting anonymity, shared, "Earlier this year, the school heads told us informally that they may have to shift children to another building. But there was no written directives. Meanwhile, the school continues to function at the same spot."

When contacted, Deputy Chief Engineer Atul Kulkarni, said, "The iron support pillars do not mean that the building is dangerous. Those are just precautions that have been taken. Repair work is regular process in all school buildings. The work begins as soon as possible, which includes the process of appointment of committee, issuing tenders, among all which takes time. If there is any structure which has a very serious issue or danger concern, different types of warnings are issued wherein children from that structure are immediately shifted to an alternative location."

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