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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Chandigarh

Admn decides against hiking FAR for pvt schools
Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , April 26, 2013
First Published: 11:06 IST(26/4/2013)
Last Updated: 11:08 IST(26/4/2013)

The administration has decided not to enhance the floor area ratio (FAR) of the city's private schools, until the latter implement the Right to Education (RTE) Act in letter and spirit.


The fresh move, which the private schools termed as administration's “U-turn” from its earlier decision to increase FAR has anguished them. They held that all private schools face space crunch and they cannot deliver quality education until required space is provided to them.

There are over 100 private schools in different parts of the city. Schools and administration have been at loggerheads over the implementation of the RTE Act. Recently, the private schools had refused to admit students under the economically weaker section (EWS) quota after the administration reportedly failed to reimburse the expenditure incurred on such students by private schools for 2010-11 and 2011-12. The administration wants schools to implement the 25% EWS quota under the RTE Act.

FAR NOT REVISED FOR LONG
Over the years, the Independent Schools' Association (ISA) had given numerous representations to the administration demanding an increase in FAR and ground coverage, which has not been revised since long.

According to sources, to enable private schools enhance their capacity to accommodate more students and provide better facilities to them, the authorities had agreed in principle to increase FAR and ground coverage. On request of private schools, the administration was also considering allowing setting up hostels in more private schools. However, after the recent showdown with private schools over implementation of the RTE Act, the administration had decided to increase FAR only after private schools implement the act in toto.

UT finance-cum-education secretary VK Singh said, “The private schools have been demanding enhancement of FAR in order to have more space for accommodating more students under RTE. How can we enhance the FAR when they are not implementing RTE Act?”

To meet the requirements of schools in current times, the ISA had urged the administration to increase FAR from 0.5 to .75 and allowing them to cover 25% of the ground area from the earlier 15%. The FAR for private schools in Panchkula and SAS Nagar is 1.

SCHOOLS' BODY FLAYS ADMN
ISA president HS Mamik said the RTE Act has not been implemented due to shortcoming on part of the authorities concerned. “We admitted students under the EWS quota, but the administration is yet to reimburse the amount spent on students between 2010 and 2012,” said Mamik. He added that increase in FAR is the need to the hour.

What is FLOOR AREA RATIO (FAR)
FAR is the ratio of the total floor area of a building to the area of land it is built upon

For private schools in UT                                                                       0.5
In Panchkula and SAS Nagar                                                                  1
Schools' body has urged the administration to increase FAR to               0.75


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