Jan 08, 2014
Source : The Times of India
NAGPUR: After hospitals, mushrooming play schools, coaching classes and offices have turned many residential areas in the city into a nightmare. The establishments block roads and footpaths with vehicles belonging to their students, staff, or parents coming to drop and pick up children. These activities not only violate building norms but are also a danger to children and students as they lack elementary fire safety equipment.
TOI highlighted the blocking of interior roads and footpaths through erecting pandals for household functions, dumping of construction materials etc. A visit to some residential areas brought to fore violations by other permanent establishments causing severe inconvenience to residents.
Wonderland Kindergarten running in Satyam Apartments situated in posh byramji Town, near Gondwana Square, is a fine example. The apartment is a three-storeyed building and the school is running on ground floor by merging three flats.
A resident on condition of anonymity said that people are facing a lot of problems since opening of the school. "There is no parking space with the school, so all vehicles are parked on the road creating traffic congestion. The residential area is no more peaceful as classes go on and children make noise," he said.
Similar play schools and kindergarten can be seen operating in residential buildings in at Dharampeth, Shankar Nagar, Bajaj Nagar, Shivaji Nagar etc as well.
There is similar violation by coaching and tuition classes in residential apartments and areas. A number of classes have cropped up in Laxmi Nagar, Khamla, Dharampeth, Shankar Nagar, Kachipura, Dhantoli, Trimurti Nagar, Abhyankar Nagar and other areas. Highlighting the problems of Kachipura, activist Anil Wadpalliwar alleged a nexus between NMC officials and the operators. "Residential flats are being used for commercial activities. The classes begin from 6am and run up to 9pm. Hundreds of vehicles come daily and are parked on the roads. Senior citizens and children are unable to walk on the road and on footpaths," he said.
Wadpalliwar said these commercial activities in residential areas violate the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act. "Specific structures are required to be constructed for educational institutions including play school and coaching/tuition classes. Residential structures turned into commercial activities are a brazen violation," he said.
Another major violation is of fire safety as all playschool and coaching/tuition classes operating in residential structures have no fire preventive and safety mechanism.
Demanding a survey and stringent action, RTI activist TH Naidu alleged such things could not go unnoticed by the NMC officials. "Staffers and officials of NMC are turning a blind eye towards the violations. NMC is even collecting property tax of residential category from these institutions. Lack of action is encouraging even more violators. Lodges, hostels and restaurants are also beginning to open in residential buildings. Also, property rates are on rise due to such activities, making purchase of property for common man a distant dream," he said.
The officials of NMC Mangalwari Zone refused comment on violations by play schools in Byramji Town.