Staff, parents worried over school's shaky boundary walls

Jun 18, 2013, 06:16 IST | Mehul Thakkar

After Altaf Mansion collapsed following heavy showers, parents and teachers of 1,500 students of nearby RC Mahim Municipal School demand repairs, basic hygiene and safety

As schools reopened on Monday after the summer break, parents and teachers of nearly 1,500 students studying at RC Mahim Municipal School are worried as the boundary walls of the institute are trembling under the weight of the downpour.

Even trees on and around the premises are in a perilous state: they need to be either axed or pruned to avoid sudden falls. The school is located close to Altaf Mansion, a residential building which caved in on June 10 after torrential rains, killing 10 people.

In March, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the School Infrastructure Cell (SIC) sanctioned the request of school authorities to rebuild the dilapidated structure, but no concrete action has materialised. The fragile fence wall is unable to keep off unwanted elements from the establishment. The school management complained of anti-social entities entering the premises and indulging in drug and alcohol abuse, stealing grills and damaging fences.

Shops near the school dump waste over its boundary wall, turning it into a breeding ground for infection for kids at play; school management also complains that the institute is becoming a haunt for substance abusers. Pics/Abhinav Kochrekar

“We have asked the BMC to solve our problem but no action has been taken yet. The municipal school was built with the mission to educate children belonging to economically weaker sections in the locality who are deprived due to circumstances,” said Qamar Sultana, principal of primary section, RC Mahim School.

Junk on ground
School authorities also complained the “garden area for small children to play is not maintained by the BMC and is littered with waste. The nearby shopkeepers throw their refuse on our premises, making the school surroundings unhealthy,” said a school staff on condition of anonymity.

“We all know primary education is a right of every child, but it doesn’t end here. The authorities should create a healthy environment for children to study. I have been approaching the authorities for the past 18 months but I see no improvement in the condition,” said Yakub Hamlani, social activist from Mahim.

“The surroundings of the school should be kept clean and hygienic, and its walls should be repaired immediately as our children often play on the ground. If some untoward incident takes place, who would be responsible?” asked a parent of a child studying at the school.

Deepak Kamble, deputy city engineer of SIC, said, “We have already uploaded an e-quotation on the BMC’s official website. Soon we will take appropriate steps to solve the problem faced by the school.”  

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