BHUBANESWAR: The district administration on Friday started demolition of the 65-year-old Bahanaga high school which was turned into a makeshift morgue following the tragic train mishap on June 2. The state government has decided to renovate the building under its 5T school transformation programme.
The demolition of the school was initiated in the presence of police, Balasore tehsildar and local administration. The move came after the school management committee (SMC) of Balasore recommended the demolition of the building citing the students were reluctant to return to the classes after it was used as a morgue. Temporary arrangements will be made to conduct classes for students till the new building is constructed.
The decision for the transformation of the school under 5T and its conversion into a model school (Adarsha school) was approved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday. The chief minister has asked Balasore collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde to submit a detailed project report in this regard to the chief minister’s office (CMO) within 15 days.
The CMO said residents of Bahanaga and teachers played a vital role in rescuing injured passengers in the immediate aftermath of the accident. It was decided to include the school under the 5T programme to encourage and acknowledge their service.
Chief Secretary PK Jena, 5T Secretary VK Pandian and Secretary of School and mass education Aswathy S discussed the issue with Shinde, members of the school managing committee, panchayat representatives, teachers and students.
Two students, Priyanka Behera of Class VIII and Suman Sahu of Class VI also shared their opinion on the steps to be taken for the development of the school with the 5T secretary. It was decided that the renovated school will have a concrete roof. The classrooms will be increased and the playground developed. Besides, a boundary wall will be constructed.
Earlier, two teams of the school and mass education department and district administration inspected the condition of the school after it was sanitised. The department has also decided to send psychosocial counsellors to the school as many of the teachers and students are reportedly under stress following the tragic incident.