New Delhi [India], May 2 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday issued a notice on a PIL challenging the construction, operation and maintenance of upcoming commercial shops, retail space, food court, and multilevel car parking facility by demolishing/razing the Primary school (in existence since 1927) on Bank Street in Delhi’s Karol Bagh.
The bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla on Monday said the Court will definitely examine the issue and sought a response from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), Delhi Government, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), and OMTECH Construction and Infrastrucure Ltd. The court fixed the matter for July 15, 2022. However, the court refused to stay on the construction as of now.
Meanwhile, appearing for Delhi Government, Advocate Santosh Kumar Tripathi opposed the decision of conversion of ‘land use’ and construction on school land. He submitted that decongestion cannot take place at the cost of the education of the children, if the concerned Corporation is unable to run this school, the Delhi Government is willing to run the school.
The lawyer of NDMC while opposing the plea said this is the sixth petition in this regard and it is a clear proxy petition to safeguard some persons. The Corporation followed all rules and regulations while changing the land use of the concerned plot and a resolution was also passed in this regard.
Advocate Amit Sahani, a social activist and petitioner in person has submitted that the NDMC has in October 2021 proposed to construct the multi-level parking by demolishing the building of the municipal school. The land of school measuring 4200 sq. metres was sold to OMTECH for Rs 181 crores under the garb of directions issued by the Delhi High Court for the construction of multi-level parking thereon.
The petition has stated that in 2019, the NDMC stopped using the school building by shifting the students to another school in Shiv Nagar, measuring only 1,420 sq metres which is much smaller in size than the previous one and does not have infrastructures like playground and green area.
Shiv Nagar School is overcrowded as after the COVID pandemic, most of the parents are not able to afford private schools and send their children to government schools, the petition stated.
Respondent OMTECH is advertising the project as a commercial building with a food court, shops and offices. As per the advertisement, the parking will be underground and would be for 500 vehicles only. It would be insufficient for the parking need of the area, it added.
Advocate Sahni further said the NDMC and Delhi Government are duty-bound to provide free and compulsory education to the children below the age of 14 and DCPCR is statutory watching for the protection of child rights.
The plea further said that NDMC has sold the said school land in violation and directions passed by the High court and the Supreme Court. This would adversely affect the constitutional rights of the deprived sections of society whose children study in government schools, it added. (ANI)