New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI) The city government’s Department of Education (DoE) today told the Delhi High Court that around 26 government-run and 105 government-aided schools did not have valid ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Fire Service department.

In its affidavit, the DoE said that as per the information collected from the government schools and Delhi Fire Service department, out of the 725 government school buildings, only 463 have been issued valid fire NOC at present.

Of the remaining 262 schools, 198 have applied for the renewal of fire NOC, it added.

“Out of the remaining 64, the fire service department has conveyed shortcomings like width of staircase, width of classroom gate in 38 schools while 26 do not have the feasibility to be issued the fire NOC.

“Out of the 208 government-aided schools, 103 have valid fire NOCs, while the remaining 105 do not have it and have been asked to apply for the same at the earliest,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit was submitted to a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar which listed it for further hearing on July 31.

The DoE claimed it has been working towards making all schools fire-safe and, it has, in consultation with the Delhi Fire Service, identified the government schools which do not have fire safety certificate.

The affidavit was filed in response to a PIL by Kush Kalra alleging that the several city schools lacked the fire safety mechanism, risking the lives of students.

He had accused the Delhi government, DoE, Fire Service Department and the PWD of turning a blind eye towards fire and structural safety of school buildings.

In its affidavit, the DoE said that a proposal to build 10,000 additional classrooms is at an advanced stage of approval with the competent authority.

It also submitted that the public grievance Commission had suo-motu taken cognizance of the case of fire NOCs in all schools including those run by local bodies.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.