Survey illegal coaching centres in Mukherjee Nagar afresh: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the civic bodies, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the fire department and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) to conduct a fresh survey of illegal coaching centres in north Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar.
Coming down heavily on TPDDL, a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said coaching centres using more power than the sanctioned load should be shut down without any warning.
Referring to the fire at a coaching centre in Surat, the court said these centres run air-conditioners in small places to accommodate more students and risk their lives. He said these centres were consuming more power than the sanctioned amount, leading to chances of short circuits and fire.
“You people are very slow. What action have you taken? You are arguing on the basis of a 2017 survey. Either the centres are running illegally or in connivance with you,” the bench said.
The court was irked when TPDDL’s counsel said they had conducted a survey of buildings in 2017 and taken action against violators.
The TPDDL, however, said they would comply with all orders of the court in the present matter. “Tata Power DDL is in compliance of all directions issued by the high court in the Sanjay Singhal matter. Earlier a list of coaching centres was filed with the court after a survey . We will continue to abide by all directions which the court issues or provide any information on such coaching centres as sought from us,” a Tata Power-DDL spokesperson said.
The court was hearing a couple of pleas filed by Kanchan Gupta and Sanjay Singhal, who sought directions to the authorities to stop illegal coaching centres in Mukherjee Nagar.
Appearing for one of the petitioners, advocate Prashant Manchanda informed the court the last survey was conducted almost a year back and since then several illegal coaching centres and PGs had mushroomed.
The bench sought to know from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation counsel about the steps taken and whether any survey was conducted to shut down these illegal coaching centres.
The municipal counsel said around 70 coaching centres had been surveyed of which 35 have been closed and five others sealed. She told the court the civic body only checks fire safety of the basement and the Delhi government may lay down norms for other floors.
Appearing for the Delhi fire services, additional standing counsel (Delhi government) Gautam Narayan informed the bench a fire safety audit was conducted recently and a report would be submitted in court. He said the Delhi government had also started a fire audit of schools.
Narayan said there are 5,495 schools in Delhi and action, such as withdrawal of recognition, will be taken if they are found deficient in any manner.
The court directed all authorities to file an affidavit after conducting a fresh survey and posted the matter for September 18.
In another matter, the Delhi high Court directed the North MCD to share building plans with the Delhi Fire Services so that a fire audit can be done on a priority basis..