One drinking water tap for 2,000 students. This is the state of infrastructure in three Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools —Shahjinagar Urdu medium school no 1 and 3 and Tamil medium school no 2 — housed in the same structure at Cheeta Camp in Trombay.
The students of the three schools have to make do with only one drinking water room.
Of the three water taps in the room, only one is functional as the pipelines supplying water to the other two taps have been damaged.
The problem persists although there is a borewell in the schools’ backyard.
“Our students don’t have water to drink. Though there is a borewell in our backyard, we can’t use the water as it has not been connected it with our water tanks. If we get borewell water for non-drinking purposes, then the water supplied by the civic body can be used solely for drinking purposes,” said Aarifa Shaikh, principal of Urdu medium school no 1.
For the 1,500 students from Urdu schools and 300 students from Tamil school, there are only four washrooms for girls and boys each.
“We have a recess time of 30 minutes in which all of us scramble to the water tap and the washroom. This often leads to fights between the students. At times, many students fall and get hurt,” said Quresha Begum, a Class 7 student.
“With the unhygienic toilets, most students regularly suffer from stomach infections. Though we restrict our children from eating the mid-day meal or drinking water from the school tap, we cannot stop them from using the toilet,” said Naseem Khan, a parent.
Rajkumar Sharma, a social activist, said, “Claiming that the schools will soon undergo redevelopment, the civic authorities have been ignoring the plight of the students.”
RB Wadile, administrative officer, M-east ward, said, “The schools will soon be redeveloped. The existing amenities are sufficient for the students. Besides, the borewell comes under the environment department, for which the assistant engineer (environment) should be consulted.”
The official from M-east ward environment department directed Hindustan Times to the T ward office of mechanical and electrical department.
On asking the water work and supply department of M-east ward, the official directed Hindustan Times to the M-east ward construction department, which in turn, directed it to the ward office.