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Vizag civic chief defends demolition of specially abled children school

GVMC Commissioner Dr G Srijana visits Hidden Sprouts special school at MVP Colony in November 2020
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GVMC Commissioner Dr G Srijana visits Hidden Sprouts special school at MVP Colony in November 2020

Highlights

Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) commissioner G Srijana on Thursday said 'Hidden Sprouts', a school for specially-abled children, was demolished because it was an illegal occupant of the civic body’s open site.

Visakhapatnam: Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) commissioner G Srijana on Thursday said 'Hidden Sprouts', a school for specially-abled children, was demolished because it was an illegal occupant of the civic body's open site.

"Actually it is an open site. As per Supreme Court's guidelines, there should not be any construction on an open site," Srijana told IANS.

According to the commissioner, Srinivas, who is running the school for special children, produced a letter given to him by a commissioner in 2012 of which the GVMC has no official record.

"It was true that the school was running there. It is unauthorised. The structure is unauthorised. There is no record in our office as to that letter he was showing," she said.

Srijana said no construction is allowed in an open site, complying with the Supreme Court's orders and clarified that even if any kind of a construction was allowed, it can only be a park.

Srinivas made a representation to the civic body to extend the 'lease' but Srijana contended that 'first there is no lease. Second, I cannot give a lease on an open site'.

She said that every layout must have a certain portion of land as an open site which should be open to the sky, bereft of construction.

"So it is one of those reserved sites. Now that he made a representation to us, seeking extension of that supposed lease, I need to reply to him officially. First there is no lease and I cannot now give a lease because it is an open site again," the official asserted.

The civic body had served two notices to Srinivas to vacate the premises in MVP Colony, as schools were not operating due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Srijana said 'Hidden Sprouts' was not a residential school and it was the right time to free that space from this unauthorized occupation.

"Since there were no children and no running school there, we asked him to vacate the premises. Because we were not removing anybody from there. We were not closing down an actively running school," she observed.

In addition to clearing the school, GVMC also offered an alternative space like a community hall or some other place to run it but Srijana said Srinivas got emotional and mobilised children to create a scene in the form of a protest.

TDP chief and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu condemned the demolition of the special school.

Former Indian cricket team's chief selector and former cricketer M S K Prasad had also appealed to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and Member of Parliament V Vijayasai Reddy to stop this move by the civic body. (IANS)

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