With chunks of concrete falling off the roof while the class is under way,a school housed in the premises located at Champaner-Pavagadh,which is a World Heritage Site as declared by the United Nations,is seeking urgent repairs to the structure but the same is held up since Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would not allow school authorities to do it on their own.
Two days ago,school teachers and villagers from Champaner reported to district authorities that chunks of concrete were falling off the roof on the students while the class was in progress. A school employee said the structure needed urgent repairs so that students could study. On March 28,students of Standard-III ran out of class thinking there was an earthquake,as chunks of cement fell on their heads. Although nobody was injured,parents are concerned. What if the structure comes crashing down, he said.Villagers say the structure was built in 1909.
The school received a grant from Sarva Siksha Abhiyan in 2009 for repairs,said district officials,but keeping in mind its special heritage status,Champaner village gram panchayat approached the ASI with a repair and restoration plan. On March 24,the gram panchayat again approached the ASI to start the repair work but the latter says it will take time.Repairs will need time. We cannot allow the gram panchayat or local administration to carry out repairs as it would be a violation of rules that bar any construction is allowed within 100 metres of a World Heritage Site, said Superintending Archaeologist K C Nauriyal.
Now,the Panchmahals district administration has formed a technical committee keeping in mind both education of children and conservation of the heritage site. Since Champaner is a unique case,having a population living within the Heritage Site,we
will work out a solution in which students could attend their
classes while no damage is done to the monuments, Panchmahals District Collector Milind Torwane said.