The improvement committee of the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday cleared the controversial proposal to hand over plots reserved for municipal schools to private parties.
As per the policy, half the area of a private plot that has been reserved for construction of a municipal school can now be developed by private players.
The private party can build a private school in this reserved area. In return, the private entity will have to build a municipal school on the remaining plot.
Earlier, these plots were given to a private developer only after receiving a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the education officer stating that the area does not need a municipal school. It was also mandatory for the school to admit 30% students based on recommendations from the civic officer.
However, there are allegations that these rules were flouted. The standing committee has insisted on including a sub-clause, which gives the power of giving the NOC to the education committee and not to an individual officer.
Dr Ram Barot, chairman, improvement committee said: "The proposal will help the education department of the civic body. The proposal was introduced since the civic body does not have the necessary infrastructure to build schools."
According to civic officials, the proposal was made in accordance with the recommendations made by the Right to Education (RTE) Act. As per the stipulated classroom to student ratio, there is a need for 580 additional classrooms.
Ashraf Azmi of the Samajwadi Party who has been opposing the proposal from the beginning said, "We have already passed a proposal to hand over present schools to NGOs. Now, new schools built will also be put under these private organisations."
Azmi alleged the proposal was a ploy to gift plots to private players.