Save Anand Vidya Vihar School and Bal Shikshan Samiti Trust land from being divided into two parts by a not needed T P Road sign now

On November 1st, 2011, part of Anand Vidya Vihar, a premier CBSE school, a true Temple of Learning run by the Bal Shikshan Samiti Trust in Vadodara was demolished ruthlessly using JCB bulldozers by the Vadodara Mahanagar Seva Sadan (VMSS) under the pretext that the construction was falling on a T P Road.

In 1966, the Bal Shikshan Samiti Trust purchased a piece of land in an underdeveloped area of Vadodara (then Baroda) only with a view to light the lamp of education in a dark and deprived area. A piece of land bearing revenue survey no. 50 in Subhanpura area was purchased by the Trust. The possession of the said land was handed over by the Collector in 1966.

Soon after taking over the possession of the land, Town Planning (T.P.) scheme no. 2 (Subhanpura) was finalized. In this T.P. Scheme a road was provided through the middle of the plot bearing revenue survey no. 50, dividing the plot into two Final Plots namely 267 and 268. Since the original plot bearing revenue survey no. 50 was purchased for the specific reason of constructing a school building on it, a request was made by the Trust (the owner of the plot) to annul the proposed T.P. road, which would cut the original plot into two halves, rendering the plot unfit for construction of a school building as it would interfere with the security and safety of students. Otherwise also the proposed T.P. road would not serve much purpose as there was a dead end on the other side and there are other approach roads for the people of the locality. Considering the non-usefulness of the proposed T.P. road and more importantly the fact that the said proposed road would divide the plot specifically and particularly purchased for constructing a school building, the standing committee of the then Vadodara Municipal Corporation through its prudent decision passed a resolution no. 713 dated 22.10.1974 for the annulment of the proposed T.P. road.

The then Municipal Commissioner, Baroda also recommended to the Ministry of Urban Development, Gandhinagar, for the annulment of the road through a letter dated 25.8.1993. The Ministry, as per the provisions of Sec. 71 of Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act,1976 instructed the Trust to approach the appropriate authority (the Municipal Corporation in the present case) for annulment of the road through a letter dated 8.12.1993. Another reminder was sent by the Town Planning Officer himself for the annulment of the road to the Officer on Special Duty, Urban Development and Department. Considering the representation made by the Trust, recommendation of the concerned ministry, statutory provisions under the Town Planning Act and more so the interest of the students, the Municipal Corporation showed its willingness for the annulment of the T.P. road and sought the consent of the Trust for bearing the cost of the variation of the T.P. scheme and to purchase the land falling under the T.P. road, equivalent to 705 sq. mt., at the market price through its letter dated 20.4.2000. The Ttrust consented to the said letter and agreed to buy the land falling under the T. P. road and to bear the expenses for variation of the scheme through its letter dated 28.4.2000.

Thereafter, the Trust submitted its school building plan to the Corporation for approval. For a period of more than six months, no communication was received from the Corporation and the Trust in its unintentional oversight of considering it as the acceptance of the request for the annulment of the road and deemed permission for the construction, went ahead with the construction of the school building only with the view of completing the construction before the beginning of that academic year. The Municipal Corporation did not deem it wise to annul the road and to approve the plan, thereby rendering the construction of the school building as unauthorized, till the time the T. P. Road issue was resolved. A notice for demolition of the school building was served to the Trust.

The Trust on behalf of all its students, parents, teachers and employees appealed to the conscience of all capable of saving the school including but not limited to the Member of Parliament, Municipal Commissioner, Mayor, Chairman - Standing Committee, Collector, etc., but this plea fell on deaf ears. The school being neither a money generator nor a vote bank, did not receive any help. The Trust offered the Corporation an alternative road from the side of the plot instead of the proposed road going through the middle of the plot. The Trust has been shuttling between the Ministry of Urban Development and VMSS for the last 45 years but has failed to get any positive help and solution from either office. The Trust as a last resort also made an appeal to carry out the demolition after giving some breathing period so as to enable the school to make alternative arrangements or at least that the demolition be postponed till the end of the academic year. None of the requests were conceded to by the authority. Many temples/dargahs in the middle of public streets have survived the axe of demolition on one or another account but nobody was interested in saving the temple of Goddess Saraswati! The Corporation was not ready to wait even for 5 months to make the road, the need for which was not felt by the people since 1976 and the building was ruthlessly bulldozed by the Corporation in the week after Diwali and 3 months before the CBSE Board Exams; perhaps this school is the only building with so called unauthorized construction in the entire city.

Though the authorities capable of saving the school turned deaf to the appeals made by the Trust and turned their faces away, it is time they give some answers. There are over 300 notices served to various 'unauthorised constructions' through out the city, why only a Temple of Learning was chosen to be demolished? Why is a hospital which is illegal opposite the Green Park Society on Tube Company-Tandalja Road still intact and operating? Why did the VMSS representatives, including the Ex Mayor, present Mayor, Municipal Commissioner, Chairman of the Standing Committee, etc not intervene or try to find a solution to save an institution of knowledge? Why did they not stop the demolition when we submitted an appeal to the demolition squad that as it was Diwali vacation, our Structural Engineer was away and to postpone the demolition till he returned and to continue only in his presence. Is this what the State of Gujarat wants when on one side the head of the Government says that education is paramount to development? Is the VMSS being governed by politics and dancing to the tune of certain individuals who have vested interest? For 45 years there has been no need for the T P road, particularly now as there are roads on all sides of our land connecting the near by localities to other major roads, so why now? We want answers and we want our land and school back as it was before the demolition.

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nandita aminBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
State Government, Vadodara Municipality

Petition community:
Parents, Teachers, students, other schools, public at large,

Tags

apathetic authorities., concerned parents, harried students, ruthless municipality

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