In a significant decision,the Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday directed Punjab to complete the entire process of identification of all dilapidated and unsafe classrooms,release of funds,reconstruction of new classrooms,and construction of separate toilets for girls in all government schools within four months.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul directed Punjab to submit compliance report. The directions were passed during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate H C Arora. The petitioner had alleged that there are more than 700 unsafe classrooms in government schools in Punjab,as per an internal survey conducted by the Education department. However,he contended,all those classrooms have not been technically declared unsafe by the PWD. Thus,the petitioner argued that all those dilapidated classrooms should also be ordered to be demolished.
Expressing deep regret over the pitiable condition of schools,the Chief Justice remarked that such PILs can be avoided if the state government properly discharges its functions of governance.
In his PIL,Advocate Arora had drawn the attention of the court to a report of CAG,in relation to Ludhiana district,alongwith photographs of certain unsafe school buildings. Later,the court expanded the scope of the PIL and sought status report on all the unsafe government schools in Punjab.