Rawalpindi cantonment boards to seal schools and colleges tomorrow. As the deadline for private schools to move out of residential areas passed on December 31, the boards of the cantonments in Rawalpindi and Chaklala plan to close schools, colleges, and shops from Monday (tomorrow).
However, the All Private Educational Institutions Joint Action Committee said it would fight to keep the schools open until the Supreme Court decision on their petition to review the law, which they filed in 2010.
An apex court ordered the boards to clear cantonment residential areas of commercial activities in 2019. The petition was filed against the order, which was made in 2019.
An official from the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) told Dawn that teams had been formed to start taking action against private schools in the residential areas on Monday.
Owners want the government to wait until the Supreme Court rules on their review request before they can do anything.
Read more with EL news : The renovation of the Narowal-Zafarwal Road has begun
He said that based on a survey by the civic group, there were 493 private schools in the cantonment area.
Some 454 educational institutions have been built on private land, with 369 in narrow streets and 85 on main roads. All 39 schools are on land that the government gives to them on a lease.
Most of the new survey was done to help the schools that weren’t on main roads and didn’t get in the way of cars. He said that schools and colleges near major roads are likely to be the first to be targeted.
He said that the cantonment boards were unsure about closing schools and colleges after the residents of the area pushed them to do so.
“The vice chairmen of the cantonment boards in Rawalpindi and Chaklala were from the opposition party, the PML-N,” he said. “The party’s divisional chief, former MNA Malik Ibrar, has already said that he will not allow the schools to be moved from residential areas.”
Because of that, he said, the federal government told him to follow the Supreme Court’s order. They had made plans to start working on Monday because Saturday and Sunday were off every week.
Qaiser Mehmood, a spokesman for the RCB, said that the deadline to move schools and businesses from residential areas passed on December 31. The Supreme Court’s order will be followed.
He said that 24 schools had been closed so far, including 22 on private land and two on government land that had been leased.
He said elected members didn’t stop the civic body from taking action because, under the law, all organizations and civic bodies had to follow the rules set by the top court.
When Dawn asked Abrar Ahmed Khan, a member of a joint action committee, if some cantonments had shut down schools in other parts of the country, he said that no action had been taken in Rawalpindi and so far Chaklala.
She should wait until the Supreme Court rules on the case.
He said it would make their lives even worse if schools were shut down. Inflation had already made their lives miserable, and the closure of schools would make things even worse for them.
There was also a protest outside the National Press Club against the move.
Keep up with Estate Land Marketing for news and updates.