Large portion of 6-acre plot has been taken over

For many years now, students of Ramapuram government high school havebeen making do with a narrow stretch for an approach road.

The only school in Ramapuram, which has strength of over 350 students, is slowly losing out its space to encroachments. Heavy encroachments eating into space of the school on Easwaran Koil Street have narrowed down road space to hardly 6-7 feet. As there is no compound wall, the premise is used for nefarious activities during evenings, said residents.

Despite lack of basic amenities and security, parents from neighbouring areas, including Nesapakkam, Manapakkam and Mugalivakkam, send their children to Ramapuram school as they otherwise have to travel to far-off localities. Residents said that the school, which was initially a primary school, was upgraded to a high school a few years ago. But, the facilities are yet to be improved.

Members of Thiruvalluvar Welfare Association said that funds worth nearly Rs.86 lakh were allotted last year with the assistance of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to provide facilities, including additional classrooms and a lab. However, the Tiruvallur collectorate could not take up the project as the land on which the school stands has not been properly documented as belonging to the institution as per records.

S.Murugan, secretary of Thiruvalluvar Welfare Association, said: “Several encroached structures, including a place of worship, have mushroomed around the school over the years. The institution was located on a plot of six acres and much has been encroached. ”

The association members said that as the school lacks a compound wall, students often bunk classes and monitoring them is difficult. J.Ramesh, a former student, said: “A water body near the school has vanished in the past decade. There is no proper lab or library for students. The toilets too are in poor shape. The playground meant is shrinking as encroachments have increased in the last few years.

Members of the association said that they have submitted petitions to various government authorities in the last five years to secure the school from further encroachments. Though notices were served to remove a few structures, the attempt proved futile.

Maduravoyal MLA G.Bheem Rao said that nearly Rs.85 lakh has been sanctioned to develop school infrastructure under the MLA constituency fund. Measures would be taken to improve the facilities in Ramapuram school and issues related to removal of encroached structures would be discussed with Tiruvallur collectorate.

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