The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders have strongly condemned the recent tragic incident at Sanjay School, labeling it as a result of criminal negligence by the BJP government.
AAP leaders on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Director of the Directorate of Social Welfare, urging immediate action and demanding a compensation of Rs. 50 lakhs for the family of the person with a disability who tragically fell from the old SCERT government building.
AAP leader Valmiki Naik asserted that the unfortunate incident at the Vocational Center of Sanjay School could have been prevented if the concerned officials had given precedence to the directives issued by the Goa State Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
He emphasized, “Back in February, the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities had issued an order, flagging the perilous condition of the said building and urging the North Goa Collector to address the issue promptly. There were valid concerns about the safety of students attending Sanjay School, leading to a recommendation to temporarily relocate the school to the nearby cyclone shelter in Porvorim as a precautionary measure.”
Naik continued, “In May, the Goa State Commission for Persons with Disabilities received a letter from the Deputy Collector (Disaster Management) of North Goa District, affirming that Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelters couldn’t be repurposed for uses other than their original design. Regrettably, both the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the North District Collector, and the Sanjay School administration did not explore alternative solutions, resulting in a grave loss of life due to deteriorated infrastructure – a direct consequence of official negligence and skewed priorities.”
Naik expressed strong criticism towards the BJP government for allocating seven crores of rupees to the Purple Fest, an event that provided no direct benefit to persons with disabilities. The substantial expenditure was primarily directed towards ornate decorations, branding, and VIP treatment during the festival.
“Initially, when the concept of the Purple Fest was introduced, the estimated proposed cost was 1.5 crores. However, following a meeting with the ESG, the projected cost escalated to 3.5 crores. Subsequently, a tender was issued for 5.5 crores, ultimately resulting in an expenditure of 7.5 crores for the festival. The BJP govt spent around 7 crores on Purple Fest, but could not repair railing for Rs. 7,000”, Naik said.
AAP State President Adv Amit Palekar remarked, “Despite the clear warning from the Goa State Commission for Persons with Disabilities regarding the unsafe nature of the old SCERT building and the recent tragic incident, the school administration has not yet relocated the school to a safer place.”
Palekar called upon the Directorate of Education, the Sanjay School administration, and the Social Welfare Department to urgently identify an accessible and secure location for the school during the Ganesh Chaturthi holidays. He cautioned that AAP leaders would stage protests if prompt action not taken.
- Immediate relocation of government offices and the Vocational Center of Sanjay School to an accessible and safe building.
- Immediate compensation of Rs. 50 lakhs to the victim’s family.
- A high-level investigation into the criminal negligence that led to the tragic incident involving a person with disability who fell from a government building which was already highlighted as unsafe.
- Complete audit of all Govt offices and institutions, whether in public buildings or private buildings, with regard to general structural safety as well as accessibility infrastructure for PwDs.