No asbestos roof for places where children study: panel

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has said that no building, including madrasas, religious schools, and tutorials, in which children study should have an asbestos roof.

In case any such building has an asbestos roof, the Local Self-government Department should not issue licence or building number to them, and should initiate action against them under the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and the Kerala Municipalities Act.

Plea to intervene

The commission’s recommendations came on a petition that called on it to intervene in the matter of a madrasa run by the president of the Madrassathul Mujahideen in Edavanna, Malappuram. The madrasa, the petition said, was functioning in a building that had an asbestos roof. No air or light entered the building. Even though the madrasa had its own building, it had been given on rent

In a report to the commission, the Edavanna panchayat secretary said the madrasa concerned functioned in two buildings, one with tiled roof and the other adjoining the first that had an asbestos roof. While the tiled-roof structure had three classrooms, the one with asbestos roof had four classrooms that functioned from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The report said the madrasa authorities had informed them that steps were on to replace the asbestos sheet urgently.

The Urban Affairs Secretary’s report to the commission said that the president of the Madrassathul Mujahideen had informed the department that steps were being taken to remove the asbestos roof. Enough light and air entered the classrooms where the children studied, the madrasa authorities had added.

The commission order said asbestos was not conductive to the children’s health or comfortable environment in which they could study.

The High Court had ordered that asbestos should not be used for school buildings and should be replaced urgently.

It directed that the asbestos roof of the madrasa be replaced immediately. In case of any negligence in this regard, the Edavanna grama panchayat secretary should initiate immediate action against the president of the Madrassathul Mujahideen under the Panchayat Raj Act.

The commission also sought a report on the action taken within 45 days.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 8:06:37 PM |

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