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Demolition heat on schools

Patna, Sept. 7: The plan of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to demolish illegal constructions at Bhagwat Nagar has cast a shadow on the future of several schools, including two prominent institutions.

The building of the entire St Joseph’s High School is allegedly illegal. The playground of Litera Valley School, sources said, does not belong to the institution. If PMC goes ahead with its drive to remove encroachments in the locality, the existence of these two institutions would be under cloud with other schools.

Around 9,000 children study in St Joseph’s High School and Litera Valley School. More than 4,000 go to the other institutions in the locality.

Lallan Singh, the execu- tive engineer of PMC’s Kankerbagh circle, told The Telegraph: “According to our survey, there are 735 illegal constructions in the area, which includes two prominent schools and several small educational institutions. While building of the entire St Joseph’s High School is illegal, the playground of Litera Valley School is an encroachment. As and when we demolish the illegal structures, these encroachments will be cleared too.”

Amit Prakash, the director of Litera Valley School, denied that any part of his school was illegal. “The map of our school is duly approved by Patna Municipal Corporation and our plots are not disputed,” said Prakash.

Repeated attempts to contact St Joseph’s High School director Raj Nair proved futile.

The residents of Bhagwat Nagar yesterday thwarted the attempt of the civic body to demolish the illegal structures in the colony following a Supreme Court order. Led by Kumhrar MLA Arun Kumar Sinha, they virtually chased away PMC officials, representatives of the district administration and cops.

Later, the residents of Bhagwat Nagar started a dharna, which continued today. Several women taking part in the protest threatened self-immolation the civic body tried to demolish their houses.

Armed with bulldozers, water cannons and riot control vehicles, the civic body officials had reached Bhagwat Nagar yesterday to demolish illegal constructions in the colony in the vicinity of the Ashokan empire site following a Supreme Court order to the state government.

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