‘DCPCR notice to North body on parking lot is politically motivated’

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Standing Committee chairman, Jogi Ram Jain, on Saturday said the notice issued to the civic body by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) over the demolition of two primary schools in Karol Bagh was politically motivated.

The notice, which was issued on Friday to the civic body’s Director of Education and Deputy Commissioner, Karol Bagh Zone, was based on a complaint from [AAP] Karol Bagh MLA Vishesh Ravi.

Mr. Jain said that a surface-level parking was active on the premises for the last two years and that work on a multilevel car parking was to start. He said the project was aimed at resolving the parking issues in the area and at generating revenue in order to address the civic body’s ongoing financial crisis.

“Of the 500 parking spaces, North Corporation will get 325 in this project, which is being executed on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. We have sold the plot to the builder for ₹181 crore, who will take up the construction cost. Clearly, this notice from the DCPCR is politically influenced by the Delhi government because the civic body polls are nearing,” said Mr. Jain, adding that the schools were shut in 2017 due to low attendance and the students were shifted.

According to the complaint, a multi-level parking facility was being constructed illegally on the premises and the demolition of the two schools was against the norms of the Right to Education Act that states children should have access to primary schools within 1-km radius.

Mr. Jain said that a “fitting response” will be given to the DCPCR’s notice, which stated that records pertaining to the matter must be submitted by the civic body officials within seven days.

Responding, North Corporation’s Leader of the Opposition Vikas Goyal said that the BJP-led civic body was “trying to fill its pockets” by “selling schools to private builders”. He added, “They [North body] should have utilised the space for schooling purposes. The question here is that why were the number of students so low? This is a deliberate closure of the schools.”

Apart from this, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said the BJP-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s claim of an increase in enrolment of students by 93,000 at its schools was an exaggeration.

He added, “While the South Corporation is citing an increase of 93,000, we believe that many students have left civic body schools as a result of its dismal condition. Kuldeep Khatri, the head of Municipal Corporation School Teachers’ Association, said the merger of schools proves that the increase of 1 lakh in number of students is baseless. At least 29 schools are being shut under South body while it claims an increase of 93,000 students on paper. This figure is a doubtful, false claim. The Delhi government added 20,000 classrooms since 2015, while the civic body schools were reduced from 1,739 to 1,637”.

Responding to this, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor that Mr. Bharadwaj’s claim was “totally irrational”.

“Several areas of Delhi, which were originally residential, have with time converted into commercial areas and people have shifted to other parts. The number of students in schools in such areas, has drastically gone down due to which the corporation has been forced to merge them with nearby schools that are operating properly.”

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 11:09:03 am |