A day after a four-year-old child fell into an open drain in Ghaziabad’s Vasundhara Sector 16 area and died, officials confirmed that the school from he had gone missing was unauthorised.
The Hindustan Times on Thursday had reported that the Holy Mother Public School, housed in two small rooms, was unauthorised. On Friday, the district basic education officer, Dharamveer Singh, confirmed: “The school’s officials had not taken any permission. The school will now be sealed.”
The district officials are not taking chances. “We have asked the education officer for surveys of such unauthorised schools in the city,” Singh added. According to rules, a school should have the education department’s permission to run. It should also have at least five rooms (each measuring 20 feet by 20 feet) and should conform to the National Building Code (NBC). A playground and adherence to fire norms are necessary as well.
The Holy Mother Public School management have been on the run since the child’s parents lodged an FIR against them at Indirapuram police station. They are in the dock as the victim had attended the school on Thursday morning and went missing from its premises. His body was found in an open drain outside the school.
The Uttar Pradesh Avas Vikas Parishad was terse in replying to questions on unauthorised schools in its areas.
“No school is allowed to operate in residential and commercial areas,” Narsingh Prasad, superintending engineer, said.
Ghaziabad’s civic authorities have thrown up their hands, saying covering drains in the city would hamper efforts to clean and de-silt them.
The district magistrate, Aparna Upadhyaya, however, has ordered that drains be covered and unauthorised schools located.
“We are issuing instructions to the municipal corporations to get together with various school officials and cover up drains at least in front of schools. But, this can only be a temporary measure,” Upadhyaya said.
She also ordered the city magistrate to conduct a special inquiry into the incident which led to the child's death.