The premises of the St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union Middle School in Pallikaranai Kudiyirappu leaves a lot to be desired.
Construction debris is dumped there. Breaking the door in a classroom, anti-social elements and tipplers make use of it. Stray cattle can be seen roaming around the premises. All of these things happen, because the school lacks a compound wall.
The school authorities are unsure about the school’s boundaries; and they have riased this issue with the Assistant Educational Officer, Chennai; Block Development Officer (BDO) of St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union in Chitlappakkam, and Assistant Executive Engineer at Zone 14 office of Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC).
“Though the school comes under the control St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union, the school’s location — Pallikaranai Kudiyirappu — is under the purview of GCC, which has constructed a wall in front of the school,” says a school staff on condition of anonymity.
According to GCC officials from Zone 14, a portion of the area beyond the wall belongs to Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). Here, CMWSSB has constructed sewage treatment plants (STPs), where sewage from Mylai Balaji Nagar in Pallikaranai is treated, say GCC officials .
In 2011, the Kancheepuram District Collectorate reportedly advised the erstwhile Pallikaranai Town Panchayat, which is now part of the Greater Chennai Corporation against setting up sewage treatment plants as a school was nearby. But Town Panchayat allowed CMWSSB to construct the STPs.
GCC officials say they would make sure a compound wall was constructe, and that they would however need a permission letter from the BDO. Following this, they will get the field measurement book from the Surveyor, Taluk office and will do the needful.
In the absence of a compound wall, a renovation work meant to be taken up by a non-governmental organisation is getting delayed.
“There is absolutely no demarcated play area for children, although the area of the land assigned to the school is large by any standards. What needs to be done immediately is construction of a compound wall to protect the school premises from being misused by anti-social elements. If the actual boundaries of the land allocated to the school are known and the necessary permission is granted by the authorities, the compound wall can be constructed around the school. Further, the hall meant for noon meals is in a dilapidated state. It needs to be renovated. Years ago, the school had a strength of more than 400 students. Today, it is down to 150 students,” says the school staff.