The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has issued a notice to the Government of Haryana in response to a PIL which claims that the state government put at risk the lives of over 6,000 students by forcing them to attend classes in dilapidated school buildings declared "dangerous" by government agencies.
The high court Friday ordered the state government to file its reply by 18 November.
Social Jurist, an NGO and the petitioner in the case, said that 6,543 students of Classes 1 to 12 are forced to study in eight government-run school buildings which were declared dangerous by the Public Works Department in the year 2013. All the eight schools are based in Faridabad district of Haryana.
The petition demands that all these dysfunctional buildings be demolished and a new state of the art school buildings along with all required amenities be built in their place. It further appeals that a survey should be conducted in all the government schools of the state to assess their safety.
The name of the schools concerning the case are Government Senior Secondary School Anangpur, Government Boys Senior Secondary School Tigaon, Rajakiya Kanya Senior Secondary School Dayalpur, Government High School Press Colony, Government Senior Secondary School Badkhal Village, Government Senior Secondary Gaunchi, Government Co-ed Senior Secondary School Indra Nagar, and Government Primary School Indra Nagar.
“After receiving complaints from different sections of the society, Social Jurist members inspected six of the eight concerned schools. But this was only a sample survey. If as many as eight schools are operating even after their buildings are declared dangerous by the Public Works Department then there could be more such school buildings causing a threat to the lives of the students. So, it is necessary for the government to inspect all the school buildings," said Ashok Agarwal, advisor Social Jurist.
The petition mentions that since 2013, authorities in the Government Senior Secondary School Anangpur have repeatedly communicated with the Education Department to reconstruct the building. But no action has been taken so far.
“More than 800 students study in this school amidst fear that a part of the school building may fall apart anytime. In fact, the villagers of the Anangpur area have made several complaints about the hazardous condition of the school building to the authorities, including threatening to lock the building,” Agarwal added
The petition also states that in the Government Senior Secondary School Gaunchi, barring a small portion, the entire school building is dangerous in which students are found to be studying.
“Any untoward incident can take place anytime, therefore the dangerous school buildings need to be demolished and new school buildings with state of art facility needs to be constructed,” says the petition.
The petition adds that the wilful inaction on the part of the government violates the Fundamental Rights and human rights of the students guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
The case was heard in the court of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Lalit Batra.
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Updated Date: Nov 02, 2019 22:56:53 IST