The Delhi Government on Wednesday presented a plan of action before the Supreme Court for improving the infrastructure and other facilities in about 1,000 schools in the capital. In an affidavit filed in the court, the Directorate of Education said it intended to 'redefine the minimum basic acceptable standards of health hygiene and safety in government schools' and 'upgrade the physical infrastructure of schools up to a standard and agreed norms…' The affidavit sworn by Director of Education Chandra Bhushan Kumar, has been filed in response to a PIL filed by Environment and Consumer Protection Foundation highlighting the plight of government run schools in Delhi and the lack of basic facilities like drinking water, toilets and buildings.
It said the number of students in government schools has increased by over a lakh in the last three-four years and promised to provide better environment to nurture children by overcoming the constraints. The affidavit gave a detailed list of 14 works including construction of semi-pucca structures, additional toilets, provision for additional fire safety measures and earthquake retrofitting. Delhi Cabinet has already approved a INR 9.80-crore proposal prepared by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation. Under the plan, each school would get INR 5 1akh, the affidavit said, adding the plan was expected to be completed by March 2010. A bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari appreciated the efforts of Delhi Education Department in improving the infrastructure and ensuring timely payment of salaries to teachers. It asked the Centre to apprise it within two months the general plights of schools across the country in terms of availability of various basic amenities like drinking water, toilets, seating facility class rooms and building to students.