When will students be shifted from 99-year-old dilapidated school building: High Court asks Delhi government

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government by when it can shift students from one of its schools, the building of which is 99 years old and in a dilapidated state, saying it was concerned with the safety of the children.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao asked the Delhi government to file a status report indicating by when the students would be accommodated in other schools and the time frame for repairing or reconstructing the building.

The court, however, made it clear that the structure in question should not be used for anything else in its present condition as it could cave in any time according to an affidavit submitted by the Delhi government.

The directions from the bench came on a PIL by NGO Social Jurist which has alleged that Rajputana Rifles Heroes Memorial Senior Secondary School in Delhi Cantonment, taken over by the Delhi government in 1975 and getting 100 per cent aid from it, was in a horrible condition.

The Directorate of Education (DoE) of the Delhi government had earlier told the court that a joint inspection of the building in question had revealed that it was constructed in 1919 and has outlived its useful life and was unsuitable for habitation.

Advocate Ashok Agarwal, appearing for the NGO, had earlier said around 450 students are studying in the school and they have been unjustly deprived of adequate physical infrastructure and academic faculty to educate them.

The plea has said though the school is open for all, it mainly caters to the children of servants of military officials who are not in a position to educate their kids in private school.

It has alleged that the school lacks basic amenities, including potable drinking water, functional toilets, science and computer labs, clean classrooms and proper boundary wall and several posts of teaching staff are lying vacant.

The petition has sought direction that the existing building of the school be demolished and rebuilt as a state-of -the-art school.