Mumbai: MMRDA seals Mankhurd school just before exams

Oct 30, 2018, 08:00 IST | Pallavi Smart

The institute was being run on the ground floor of Sapta Sangam cooperative housing society, which was rented out to them by an old committee of the society

Mumbai: MMRDA seals Mankhurd school just before exams
The school premises were sealed after MMRDA issued two notices

Parents of the students of Royal Public Academy School in Mankhurd were in for a shock on October 26 when the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) sealed the institute, which was being run on the ground floor of Sapta Sangam cooperative housing society in the area. With all of it happening at a time when term-end examination is scheduled to start, more than 800 students of the school await alternate arrangements.

According to sources, a society committee, which was dissolved in 2017 due to some internal dispute, had rented out the ground floor to the school in 2015, even though the premises were under the control of MMRDA.

The school management, which has moved court against the action, is of the opinion that no wrong-doing was involved in the rent agreement and it was wrong on the part of the authorities to take such action without giving prior notice or adequate time to respond. Though many residents of the building have been complaining against the school for some time now, the administration is of the opinion that most of them would support them as their kids study in the school.

Speaking to mid-day, Imran Azami, founder of the school, said, "The authorities concerned put up the closure notice on October 25 and the following day they sealed the premises. This is not right, hence we have moved court."

He further said, "Since the time we took the ground floor on rent, we have paid the charges on time and have taken care of all the arrangements on the premises. Many children from the nearby slum also study in our school. After some problems cropped up between the members of the society committee, it was dissolved in 2017. Since then the building has been under MMRDA. We feel this is sheer injustice towards the school and its students as this action has been taken at the time of the term-end examination."

Madhukar Sawadkar, assistant controller, unauthorised structures, MMRDA, said, "The school was sent three notices at intervals so that they could respond to them. But since there was no response from them, we had to take the action. The ground floor is meant for residents' welfare activities. But, instead, the school has been running there."

Meanwhile, Ashok Patil, one of the residents of the building, who is the complainant in the case, said, "MMRDA had given the ground floor to the society for welfare activities. But in 2015, the former committee rented out the premises to the school."

Another resident, whose child studies in the school, said, "I have paid the entire fee and donation amount for my child's admission. Now, for the examination students are being asked to go to a different branch of the school 10-15 minutes away. But there is no clarity on what the arrangement will be after the Diwali vacation."

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