It was closed on May 17 for carrying out unauthorised construction

Ten days after the St. Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram Cantonment Board sealed the premises of St. Theresa Girls Higher Secondary School in Pallavaram, the school was opened on Monday.

Admissions for the new academic year commenced on the day.

The school premises were sealed on May 17 when school authorities started the construction of new facilities without the Board’s approval. The sealing of the school premises led to protests. Angry residents of Pallavaram assembled at the Board's office on Butt Road in St. Thomas Mount last week, demanding that the sealing order be revoked.

The residents had sent several telegrams to the directorate of defence estates, southern command in Pune, asking for its intervention to revoke the ‘sealing’.

One of the telegrams sent stated that as admissions were to commence from Monday, the sealing of the main gate would result in a law and order problem.

Expecting the ‘seal’ to be still in place, a large number of residents of Cantonment Pallavaram assembled near the school premises on Monday morning. A team of police constables had been deployed in advance. However, finding the gates open, most of them dispersed.

While students who had completed their class XII examinations received their marksheets and other documents from the school, those seeking admission filled up forms and submitted them at the school office.

Board explains

A note from issued by the Board last week said the school management had submitted faulty building applications on three occasions and the same had been returned to the management. The note also cited the Kumbakonam fire tragedy in 2004, when, in the absence of adherence to safety and security norms, 94 children were killed in a fire accident in a private school.

Further, the noted added, the school authorities had encroached on the land in front of the premises without permission from the Board. Since this land belonged to the ministry of defence and was under the management of the Board, two of the school gates located on the encroached land were sealed.

School officials hopeful of amicable end

School authorities, while speaking to mediapersons on Monday morning, said they had stopped further work on the construction of the auditorium and laboratories.

They expressed the hope that the Board would accept their need for additional buildings for the benefit of the 5,000-plus students of the school that will be completing 50 years in June.

Thanking the Board for removing the ‘seal’, parents appealed to the Board management to pay heed to their requests before acting.

Attempts made by a section of the media to get a reaction from the Board on Monday were futile.

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