Punjab

UNSAFE & ILLEGAL COACHING CENTERS: HIGH COURT ISSUES NOTICES TO STATE, OTHERS

July 19, 2019 04:30 PM

Chandigarh (Subhash Jindal)

  Hon’ble double bench of Punjab & Haryana High Court comprising of Hon’ble Chief Justice & Hon’ble Justice Arun Palli has issued notices to State of Punjab & others after hearing on Public Interest Litigation (CWP-PIL 142 of 2019) filed through Adv. H C Arora by Council of Engineers against unrecognized business of Coaching Centers running in commercial as well as residential buildings in violation to Building Bye-laws as well as without following mandatory fire safety provisions.

Er. Kapil Arora informed that most of coaching centers running in Punjab have violated building bye-laws in terms of excess coverage, fire safety provisions & land use. The width of staircase in such buildings is far less than as required and there is no emergency exit too.

Despite directions of Hon’ble high court, the MCs as well as PUDA are not willing to take action to remove huge illegal hoardings installed on front face of buildings due to which, the students will not get escape route due to any recent fire incident like Surat. The educational Institutes running in residential areas causes inconvenience to residents of locality in terms of haphazard parking, noise and traffic chaos.

Er. Kapil Arora informed that most of coaching centers running in Punjab have violated building bye-laws in terms of excess coverage, fire safety provisions & land use. The width of staircase in such buildings is far less than as required and there is no emergency exit too.Despite directions of Hon’ble high court, the MCs as well as PUDA are not willing to take action to remove huge illegal hoardings installed on front face of buildings due to which, the students will not get escape route due to any recent fire incident like Surat. The educational Institutes running in residential areas causes inconvenience to residents of locality in terms of haphazard parking, noise and traffic chaos.

Such Coaching Centers with serious flaws are against Right to Life & Education granted under Article 21 & 21A as the students must study in the environment of safety. These Institutes are not less than second school for teenage students but these SCOs/SCFs are not fit to be used as Coaching Centers/Educational Institutes.

These institutions are taking much more fee than Schools (varying from thousands to lakhs per annum) but have no responsibility & accountability of providing any safe environment for Students in Punjab. All such illegal activities are going on in active connivance with the concerned officials of Municipal Corporation as well as PUDA, GLADA etc. and thus risking the lives of thousands of students at all times. 

Er. Kulwant Singh Rai, Sr. Vice President & Mohit Jain informed that in May 2019, CoE had sent legal notice to respondents through Adv. HC Arora. However the respondents haven’t taken any action against the violators and have allowed all such illegal coaching centers to run their unregistered business and continue play with the lives of students in State of Punjab. Such behaviour of respondents is very irresponsible and it seems that Respondents are waiting for some serious incident like Surat in order to initiate any action.

Er. Sanjay Verma, General Secretary & Er. H S Bhatia informed that almost all such private Institutes/ commercial buildings have not taken NOC from Fire Department. Even the fire departments are not doing any fire audit of commercial or Industrial buildings in Punjab. The Urban Local Bodies in Punjab are collecting Fire Cess since many decades but the Fire Departments in Punjab are still Ill-Equipped. Construction of high rise buildings in Punjab are being permitted every year but the departments have not procured even a single Hydraulic ladder, Safety Nets, Proper Safety gears, Fire Safety Suits etc. The ill-equipped department is using water to douse fire originated from different types of sources which is not a correct way.

Er. Kapil Arora further informed that for safety environment for Students as well as People of Punjab, we have filed PIL to seek directions from Hon’ble Court for State of Punjab for closure of all such coaching centres till they do not follow mandatory provisions of building bye-laws and all the coaching centres running in residential areas must be shifted to commercial areas. We have further prayed the court for directions to State to notify “The Punjab Fire Safety Act” as well as policy/legislation for mandatory requirement of registration & approval to run Coaching Centres having students more than 10 at any given time for safety of Students in Punjab. The next date of hearing was fixed  for September 26.

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