The long-pending dream of students of the Government Higher Secondary School, Thirupacheti, which was established in 1957 as a District Board school, to play in the school campus is yet to get materialised, despite decade-old collective efforts to get railway poromboke land on lease.
The school, which is catering to the educational needs children in and around the villages of Thiruppuvanam and Thirupacheti, has been functioning on a railway poromboke land, which was allotted to the school free of cost by the Railway Board about 50 years ago.
Though it has good infrastructure for teaching and others, it has no suitable space for play ground. Considering the important need of the students, a few village elders, school administrators and Thiruppuvanam panchayat representatives started their campaign in 1999 demanding the Railways to spare its unused land for play ground purpose on lease basis.
According to the Thiruppacheththi School Improvement Committee, acting on a number of representations made by the people and the then Member of Parliament Vaiko, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was holding the same portfolio in 1999, instructed the authorities concerned to take appropriate action on the demand in 2000. Subsequently, the authorities accepted the proposal and Rs.26710 was fixed for using the properly for public cause on lease basis. However, the school could not get the land as the Committee failed to pay the fixed amount due to conflict of interest in collecting fund from the public.
After a few years, the school administrators, village elders and village president Tilaka Selvam again approached the Divisional Railway authorities in Madurai and renewed the demand. The Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has also sent a memorandum to the Railway Minister Banerjee to support the school for forming play ground.
However, they said that though the authorities concerned agreed in principle to allot the land and new survey had been done, the follow up actions were going at a slow pace and demanded speedy action.
D. Ramakrishnan, Teacher, Physical Education, GHSS, Thirupacheti, told The Hindu that the Government school had produced thousands of students, several of them became bureaucrats, politicians and others.
If the school got its own play ground, it could produce good sports persons. The Committee was ready to pay the lease amount.
When contacted D. Venkatasubramanian, Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Madurai, said that it was the Railway Board, which could take the final decision in this regard. Appropriate actions were being taken to send the proposal for consideration.