Parents of Vibgyor High School at Goregaon, which has lost its basketball court to a pay-and-park plot set up by the civic body, are still clueless that their children have very little place left to play. The principal of the school, Shim Mathew, has now said that he was pleading with the BMC to reinstate the land and consider the children.
"As of now we are using the sports and performance block for sports activities but it gets very congested" Mathew said.
Students still use the plot to play though a pay-and-park facility has started there since July 27. "The school hasn’t even informed us as yet that this place does not belong to them and our children still play over there," said a parent of a Class 8 student of the school.
"It is risky and we feel cheated as our children do not have a ground to play or exercise."
School authorities and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials have been going back and forth on the issue. The 1,430 square metre plot belongs to the BMC but it had given the school permission to use it. BMC officials said that the school was supposed to have made other provisions and it had the right to take back the plot when they needed.
"The land belongs to the BMC from 2002 when the plot was handed over to the trust and we recently decided to take it back," said Kiran Acharekar, deputy municipal commissioner for zone IV.
"The pay and park has been set up temporarily for 3-6 months at that plot. We have plans to use the area for widening the road soon."
While school authorities agree that the plot is not their, they are upset that it is being taken back without any prior notice and right in the middle of the academic term. "It is BMC’s land but we have not yet informed the students about the fact the ground is not with the school anymore," Mathew said.