Several students of Jagriti Public School in Kirari have been “forced” to study in the open for over a week after the North Delhi Municipal Corporation sealed it, stating that it is an unauthorised construction. Principal of the school, V K Gandhi, said the students were “forced to sit in open in discomfort, inhaling dust”.
“I cannot even afford to close the school as the exams are approaching. I have followed all the rules while constructing the building. They say it is an unauthorised construction… there are hundreds of buildings here that have encroached on government land. The entire colony is unauthorised. But they only see fault in my school,” he said.
The principal said, “We did some minor renovations and constructed some more classes. We have no idea why the municipal corporation thinks it is illegal.”
The school has over 800 students and classes till VIII. While Class VI has been shifted to another building in the vicinity, where primary wing of the school is located, some classes are also being run from inside the rooms that were sealed.
An official from the school said, “Some unidentified students had broken the seal, we had no other option but to shift some classes inside as they were falling sick.”
Anushree Majumder (13), a student of Class VIII, said, “We often hurt ourselves as there are pebbles all around. There is so much noise that we cannot concentrate on our studies.”
Some teachers said that at least 10 children have not been attending school for the past four days as they have either fallen sick or their parents are not allowing them to study in the open.
Abhay Singh (15) said, “Our parents asked us not to go but we don’t have an option. The exams will start in March.”
A senior North Corporation official said that the school management had been engaged in unabated construction without getting the building layout plan approved. “The corporation had issued them notices twice — in last December and in January but they did not comply,” the official said. North DMC Mayor Preety Aggarwal said she has asked the district commissioner to submit a report on the matter.