For over three years, parents of students studying at the BMC's school at Sitaram Mill Compound have been repeatedly sending requests to repair it, but in vain. On Wednesday, a slab of the roof fell on staff cleaning the school. Luckily, the school had not reopened after the vacation. Now, it is unlikely to reopen before June 16 — like other civic schools.
According to sources at the school, the file relating to the repairs has been pending with the G-South ward office, under whose jurisdiction the institution is situated. Reminders to the ward staff have fallen on deaf ears. Last month, the issue was taken up at the meeting of the BMC's school management committee (SMC). Despite that, no action was taken by the ward staff concerned, who has the file pending with them.
Suresh Kumbhar, a parent, said, "Parents are understandably worried about the safety of their children. We have no idea when the repairs will start." Another parent, Sheela Kamble (name changed), who is also a member of the SMC, said, "The school is in very bad shape. The toilets are also filthy. We are tired of complaining to the authorities. We fear that a slab or even a pillar may fall on our children." When dna visited the school, the principal, Sunita Bhangare, was unavailable for comment.
Ashok Shah, administration officer, BMC education department, G-South ward, said, "The school building is not in a dilapidated condition, though major repair work is on the building is to be carried out, all the way from the top to the ground floor. We will soon begin the repair work as the school management staff is now back after the vacation. The contractor and funds are ready, but we could not start the repairs since there was nobody from the school to supervise the work." However, he had no answer why the work was delayed for over three years. An activist from an NGO which is running the English-medium school in the premises said "If repairs are carried out during the academic session, then the students will be extremely inconvenienced. The work ought to have been done during the vacation and it should have been supervised by qualified engineers of the BMC."
Almost 250 students study at the school.
School is both, Marathi and English-medium.