Headmasters of the schools have been asked to find alternative accommodation and shift within a week
News about four government schools being displaced at one go by the Hyderabad Metro Rail project has infuriated residents and citizens’ groups in and around Chaderghat.
The government has chosen to alienate the land on which two school buildings stood in Chaderghat, to facilitate construction of the HMR viaduct lines. Headmasters of the three schools accommodated in the two buildings have been notified about the same on November 23, and asked to find alternative accommodation for the schools.
The schools to be displaced are Government City Model Primary School, Government City Model High School, Government Girls Primary School, Kattelaguda, and Government Girls High School, Chaderghat (Old), the first three run in a sprawling complex on the main road, and the last in a separate building a little inside. Also being alienated is a piece of land acquired earlier for the GGPS, Kattelaguda.
HMR authorities have agreed to construct a new building on the remaining site of the City Model School, where all the four schools will be accommodated. They also agreed to pay the rent for alternative accommodation during the construction period. However, the moot question now is whose responsibility it is to find accommodation. Headmasters of the schools are said to have been told by higher officials to find rental space and shift within a week. It could be an impossible task considering the difficulty in finding equally spacious premises in the congested area.
“It is not the headmaster’s duty to find rental premises. The government should have first made alternative arrangements, and then asked the schools to move,” points M. Ravinder, general secretary, A.P. Teachers’ Federation.
It was only recently that the Lions Club provided the City Model School building with electrical wiring and ceiling fans. A water-purification plant too had been installed about a year ago with MPLADS funds, informed headmaster T. Radhakrishna. Besides, foundation had been laid for six additional classrooms within the premises involving an expenditure of Rs.16 lakh. The new building accommodating four schools within the reduced acreage, it is feared, will not provide as many rooms and facilities.
Project Officer of Rajiv Vidya Mission P. Suseendra Rao, however, denied setting any deadline for shifting of the schools. Efforts were on to find alternative premises, he said, and indicated that the students might have to adjust themselves in nearby schools till the new premises were built.
“We are still weighing out the options. We might ask HMR to provide a shed in a vacant government land nearby to accommodate the schools. Another option is to mix them with other schools nearby. After all, people will not be ready to rent out premises for six months,” Mr.Rao said.
However, the residents will not have any of it. “Our children are poor, but not cattle to be shoved into sheds. We will not let the HMR demolish the school buildings, come what may,” says Syed Bilal, local resident and member of the voluntary organisation CHATRI.