Mumbai

No school since Deepavali for kids of Navi Mumbai airport PAPs

Villagers say unlike the old school (top), the new school (bottom) does not have facilities like benches for the children.

Villagers say unlike the old school (top), the new school (bottom) does not have facilities like benches for the children.  

Villagers refuse to send children, say new school is too far and lacks facilities; CIDCO says new premises are better than the old ZP schools

Children from Ulwe, Kombadbhuje, Targhar and Ganeshpuri villages, affected by work for the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport, have not attended school since Deepavali as the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) has shut all four ZP schools and asked them to shift to a new school in Ulwe.

The project-affected persons (PAPs) have refused to send their children to the new school citing lack of facilities and the distance from their villages. CIDCO, meanwhile, has said there are no issues with the school and has been sending school buses to each village every day.

Prashant Bhoir, president of the committee of the four villages, said, “The school has no water connection, no benches, and the construction quality is very poor. Besides, we do not feel it is safe to send our children to an isolated spot so far away from our homes.”

Nitin Madhvi, the father of two children studying in Class III and VII, said CIDCO should first develop the school completely. “It should also give us our assigned plots and the money to construct new homes so that we can shift near the school.” The villagers want the old schools to continue functioning for this academic year.

According to the villagers, CIDCO employees started removing furniture from the old schools during the Deepavali holidays, and the villagers locked the schools. “After the holidays, the zilla parishad was instructed to send the teachers to the new school. Now the teachers sit in the new school and children at home. This is just another tactic by CIDCO to pressure us to vacate our homes,” Mr. Madhvi said.

No school since Deepavali for kids of Navi Mumbai airport PAPs

Last month, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered that one plot be allotted for a school for each village, after zilla parishad member Ravindra Patil met him. Mr. Bhoir said, “CIDCO says the plot has been granted, but we have not been told the plot number or sector.” Mr. Patil said, “The 10 project-affected villages were allotted only two schools: one in Ulwe and one in Vadghar. Now each village has a plot for a school, which will be run by the zilla parishad, but the demarcation is yet to be done. CIDCO needs to find a solution to the villagers’ problems.”

A CIDCO official said the plots have been identified. “Initially, we were to construct the schools, but now ZP has said it will do the work. We will provide ₹10 lakh to them for each school,” the official said.

He said the new school in Vadghar is functioning with 400 children. “The condition of the Vadghar school is the same as the one in Ulwe. We had told the villagers furniture from the old schools will have to be shifted to the new premises, and if new furniture is needed, we will provide the money. But they are not doing that. We are providing water through tankers in Vadhgar, and will do so in Ulwe as well. But for that, the children need to attend school. The new school premises are much better than the old one.”

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 8:07:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/no-school-since-deepavali-for-kids-of-navi-mumbai-airport-paps/article25736879.ece

Next Story