Sukhwinder Pal Sodhi
Chandigarh, October 29
Dengue threat is looming large over schools in the city. The anti-malaria wing has found potential breeding grounds for dengue larvae in Government High School, Kajheri, and some others schools. The Health Department has issued show-cause notice to the said school and warning letters to other schools too.
Sources said the Health Department started a drive to inspect all city schools and colleges for dengue. The anti-malaria wing has found the premises of Government High School, Kajheri, positive for dengue larvae and to be the potential source of mosquitogenic conditions in the premises. School water storage tanks were without cover, one manhole of the school was also without cover and some other conditions were also found favourable for spread of dengue.
Some other schools were also found short of basic hygienic conditions like water tanks were not covered and certain areas on the premises had stagnant water. So the Department issued warning letters for lack of cleanliness and short of sanitary standards in the schools.
In August, the anti-malaria wing cautioned the Education Department to take remedial steps for safety against dengue. The Education Department had then issued a circular and instructed the schools to take appropriate action and submit a detailed action-taken report.
Notably, water storage tanks were found uncovered in some schools. When enquired, principals of these schools stated that after monsoon, they maintained the water tanks but since these schools are surrounded by colonies, so tank covers and other items often get stolen. So the administration and the Education Department should make suitable security arrangements for the schools, they added.
The Health Department had also trained science teachers of the schools for dengue awareness. The Department has further instructed the school heads to take a serious note of the matter and any failing will call for an administrative action under The Epidemic Disease Act (1897).
Director School Education RubinderJit Singh Brar said he was not aware of the show-cause notice issued to Kajheri school but would again issue instructions to all the schools to maintain cleanliness on the school premises.
When contacted, Principal Government High School, Kajheri, Sunita Kandwal admitted that the school had been served the show-cause notice but also stated that she informed the Health Department many times. On further probing whether she informed the Education Department about the shortcomings, she failed to answer.
Anti-malaria wing officer Dr Gaurav Aggarwal confirmed the shortcomings in Kajheri school and issuing of warning letters to other schools but refused to comment further.
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