Safety of students in educational institutions a cause for concern

The Madras High Court Bench here was informed on Monday that only 45 out of 2,906 colleges (including engineering, medical, para-medical, arts and science and polytechnic colleges) in the State, except Chennai metropolitan area, obtained approval for their buildings from the Town and Country Planning authorities.

Special Government Pleader (SGP) M. Govindan made the submission before a Division Bench of Justices R. Sudhakar and V.M. Velumani during the hearing of a writ petition filed by Chettinad College of Engineering and Technology in Karur district.

The petitioner had challenged a final notice issued by officials asking it to either obtain approval within 15 days or face ‘lock and seal’ proceedings.

Opposing the writ, the SGP submitted a copy of a letter written by the Commissioner of Town and Country Planning A. Karthik to the District Collectors on July 3, 2013. The letter stated that a special drive conducted by the field offices of his department had led to unearthing of many buildings of educational institutions that had no department permission.

Hearing on Thursday

The judges directed the High Court Registry to tag the petition along with a similar case pending before the court and post them for hearing on Thursday.