Angering a large group of residents, the St. Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram Cantonment Board closed down the only girls’ school in the neighbourhood for building without approval.

The premises of St. Theresa Girls Higher Secondary School in Pallavaram were sealed a few days ago when the school attempted to construct new facilities such as a laboratory and an auditorium.

Parents of the school’s students are angry with the Cantonment Board for rejecting the plan for the construction. This is the third time permission has been declined for the work.

“The Board never really cared for the residents of Cantonment Pallavaram, and now, they are harassing a minority institution when we are gearing up to celebrate its golden jubilee,” said R.M. Pandian, a member of the school’s Parent Teachers Association.

He said a good portion of the school came within the Pallavaram municipal limits and the sealing of the school premises was unjust and arbitrary.

“There is so much pressure and demand from parents for additional facilities, especially laboratories. We applied to the Cantonment Board for permission, so we could construct the laboratory, but it was rejected on three occasions and every time, the grounds of rejection were flimsy,” said Sr. Maria, headmistress of the school.

A Cantonment Board official said notices were issued soon after school authorities began the work without their approval. The ‘sealing’ of the school premises was the final step, he said, adding they were only following the norms. There were no ulterior motives behind the move, he said.

However, the official did not reveal why the plan approval was declined repeatedly.

K. Manoharan, another parent, said St. Theresa was the only government-aided school for girls catering to Pammal, Anakaputhur, Nagalkeni, Tiruneermalai, Pozhi chalur and Gowl Bazaar.

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