Cancel Electricity Supply To Illegal Coaching Centers To Avoid Surat Like Incidents: Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court on Monday asked Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the fire department to shut down coaching centers using more power than the sanctioned load, in Mukherjee Nagar area of New Delhi. “All coaching centers without permission of municipal corporation or fire clearance, their electricity should be cut forthwith,” the court said.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the fire department (DDA) and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) to conduct a fresh survey of illegal coaching centers in the area.
The court observed that coaching centers are using air conditioning units in excessive numbers and any increase in electricity load would “lead to sparking or short circuit, resulting in a fire, like it happened in Surat”. In the Surat fire incident, 22 people had died when the fire engulfed a coaching center.
Further, the court bashed TPDDL for providing electricity without any fire safety clearance. “They are not imparting education; they are more interested in it as a business activity,” the court observed while hearing PILs against illegal coaching centers and lack of fire safety measures in schools. The court was hearing a couple of pleas filed by Kanchan Gupta and Sanjay Singhal, among others.
Pullin up TPDDL, the court said, “You people are very slow. What action have you taken? You are arguing on the basis of a 2017 survey. Either the centers are running illegally or in connivance with you.”
The court further asked the counsel, “Have you taken any action against any coaching center in the last five years? You people are so slow. The approach of your officers is — ‘my children are not studying there’. Power companies are also turning a blind eye!”
To which the municipal counsel replied that 70 coaching centers had been surveyed in the past, of which 35 that were found to be illegal have been closed and five others have been sealed.
TPDDL spokesperson, further said that they would comply with the court order. “Tata Power DDL is in compliance of all directions issued by the high court in the Sanjay Singhal matter. Earlier a list of coaching centers was filed with the court after a survey. We will continue to abide by all directions which the court issues or provide any information on such coaching centers as sought from us,” he said.