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Ghaziabad civic body demolishes primary school building

The school management said the institution was in operation at the same place since 1978 and has 192 students enrolled up to class 5.

noida Updated: Jul 13, 2017 22:51 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad municipal corporation,St Mary’s School,NCR News
The Ghaziabad corporation on Thursday demolished the building of St Mary School in Model Town. (Sakib Ali)

The officials of Ghaziabad municipal corporation on Thursday demolished the school building of St Mary’s School in Model Town area of Ghaziabad. The officials said the demolition was taken up in compliance with a high court order.

The officials, including those from the district administration and the police, arrived on Thursday afternoon and took up the demolition of school building with the help of earth movers.

The school management said the institution was in operation at the same place since 1978 and has 192 students enrolled up to class 5.

“The building is that of municipal corporation and we have all rent receipts. Six months ago, they sent us a notice to vacate the premises and we obtained a stay from the civil court in Ghaziabad. However, the officials were not ready to accept that order and undertook the demolition exercise. The school has recognition from the UP government,” said NS Arora, school manager.

“The officials should not have demolished the building at least on humanitarian grounds. We requested them to allow us to operate till March next year so that the session can be completed and students awarded transfer certificates. But they did not accede to our requests,” Arora said.

Following the demolition, the former students of the school also arrived at the spot and expressed their anguish over the development.

“It is upsetting to see the condition of the school I studied in during 1985-86. The officials should have focused on graver illegal encroachments that are present everywhere. The present students will suffer as the new session has started,” said Vikas Goel, a former student.

However, officials said that they have acted in compliance with the high court order and will take care of the students.

“The school has completely encroached on a park and was also in violation of the Master Plan. The demolition is done in compliance with the high court order. We will get the area measured once the debris is cleared. The school administration had no permission to run the school and we had also served them notices. Since the demolition has taken place, we will ensure that all students are admitted to another school and their studies not affected,” said Arun Kumar Gupt, additional municipal commissioner.

The move to demolish the school building operating in a park came only after the high court directed a personal affidavit from the district magistrate (DM). In its order on July 6, during a hearing on PIL filed by resident Ravinder Singh, the Allahabad high court had asked the DM to file a personal affidavit, categorically stating whether any area earmarked as park under the Master Plan was encroached upon.

“In case the district magistrate does not file his personal affidavit, he shall remain present before this court by the next date with all relevant records and photographs of the area (sic),” the court said in its order.

First Published: Jul 13, 2017 22:34 IST