Published: 27th November 2019
Kumjharia Government High School gets demolition shock as admin sleeps on NH plan
Headmaster Sanjay Samal said they were taken aback when contract workers of NHAI turned up with machinery for demolition
Students and teachers of Kumjharia Government High School in Kuanrmunda block were left shocked on Monday after workers of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) turned up unannounced to demolish a portion of the school for expansion of NH-143. The school authorities were never informed that a portion of their building falls along the alignment for the ongoing NH expansion project. Sources said though the administration was aware of the demolition plan, it chose to sleep on the matter.
Headmaster Sanjay Samal said they were taken aback when contract workers of NHAI turned up with machinery for demolition. However, after much pleading, the workers allowed two days time, Samal said and added that he was not intimated about it either by the district administration or the NHAI.
Samal said he immediately brought it to the notice of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) authorities.
As 469 boarders including 250 girls reside in the school hostel, the headmaster said he is concerned about their safety and security in the event of the boundary wall getting demolished without corrective measures. He also said classroom teaching will also be affected if the demolition is not carried out in a planned manner.
On Tuesday, the district administration woke up to the crisis as SSA’s technical consultant Ajit Giri visited the school and took stock of the situation. Giri said an Amin and Revenue Inspector were supposed to visit the school for demarcation on Tuesday, but they did not turn up. NHAI would be asked to give the final demarcation report and SSA’s senior technical consultant BM Subudhi has assured to ensure placement of funds in three days to start necessary construction works, he said.
Giri informed that the school’s boundary wall measuring around 400 feet in the length, two classrooms and a CRCC room of a cluster building would be demolished for the NH expansion work. The school is one of the best performing and well-managed Government schools in the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district.
NHAI Project Director Sourav Chaurasia said after the issue came to his notice, he instructed the workers to halt the demolition drive on the school portion.
He said one year back, the NHAI had deposited the required amount and two months ago, a meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Rourkela ADM Dr Yeddula Vijay to clear various Government structures falling along the NH-143 alignment. Sources said the SSA authorities were entrusted with erecting the fresh boundary wall and reconstructing the cluster building but they failed to carry out their duty.