Youths Grab School Land, Build Club

The club building being constructed inside school campus. Picture by Abhi GhoshThe club building being constructed inside school campus. Picture by Abhi Ghosh

Phulia, April 14: A club authority in Nadia’s Phulia has constructed a double storied club building allegedly   grabbing a part of a primary school campus despite objections raised by the school authorities. The club, which is run by the upa-pradhan of the Trinamul run Phulia township gram panchayat Utpal Basak, had also earlier allegedly grabbed a part of the school campus to build a an amusement park ignoring the objection of school teachers.

The Phulia Vidyasagar Vidyapith (Primary) authorities initially lodged a complaint against Vidyasagar club authorities with the sub inspector of the school, but he washed off his hands only appraising the matter to district primary school education council.

However, the district administration has ordered a probe this week following some locals brought the matter to its notice.

District magistrate Sumit Gupta said: “The school is located on government land and a club in the school campus would spoil the ambience of education, which cannot be allowed”.

Club president and upa pradhan of Trinamul run Phulia township panchayat Utpal Basak said: “We have done nothing illegal. We have not grabbed school’s land. We have constructed the club building for sake of local youths who have no place to enjoy their leisure”.

Club secretary Sanjay Chakraborty, however, acknowledged that the land on which the building is constructed not owned by the club at all. “The club building is not constructed on school’s land, rather it is on the refugee relief and rehabilitation department’s land”, Chakraborty said.

But when asked if they have any authority to build a club and a park on a government owned land, Chakraborty said: “There are many such clubs constructed in this way on government lands. How many of them removed by the government so far? We, however, assure if any part of the club falls on the school land, we will demolish that part”.

Local sources said during 60s the state government allocated land from RR&R department for setting up a primary school in the Phulia township area. A building was constructed on one side of the land whereas the remaining part was left for use of students as playground. But a few years ago, the members of Vivekananda club, who used the school ground to organize Durga puja and sports events, allegedly fenced a major part of the field to develop as a park despite protests by the school authorities.

Head master Ajoy Goswami said: “The entire land is recorded in favor of the school. When the club members fenced land for park, we protested. Many locals also protested and lodged complaint with administration. This time too the club started construction inside school land claiming that it does not belong to school. I have lodged complaint with my higher authorities. I have no idea what they have done”.

District magistrate Sumit Gupta said: “A club never be constructed on school land, which is actually owned by state government. The matter is being investigated and strict action will be taken against any sort of violation of law”.

Meanwhile, local sources said that smelling trouble the club authorities have decided to approach the RR&R department to grant them the land on lease basis so that the building is not demolished.

An official of district RR&R department said: “There is no such provision to grant a land to a club on lease basis”.

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