Kochi: Kerala High Court has asked state government to see that asbestos roofs in schools are replacd in a phased manner.
The bench of Jusice PV Asha gave the interim order while considering the petition by VC Praveen, Manager of Kurikkuzhi, Kaipamangalam AMUP School against the directive by officials including AEO (Assistant Educational Officer).
The court also asked for explanation by Director of Public Instruction (DPI) for not banning asbestos and not taking action for replacing it, and adjourned the case for a month.
The AEO's instruction to replace asbestos was contained in the staff fixation order of April 2016. When the school approached the District Educational Officer (DEO) questioning the decision, the DEO's reply was that although there was no ban on asbestos, the roof had to be changed.
The school appealed to the government for three years time to implement it. In response, the government asked the school to approach DPI, but asked the school to remove the asbestos roof any way in the next academic year.
As per the latest petition with the High Court, although the school approached DPI, it was of no avail, and currently in the post-flood financial situation, they cannot replace the roof at short notice. The school management also submitted a list of schools still using asbestos roofs.
The court's directive came with the observation that sufficient attention was not being paid to replace the asbestos in school and due regard was not given for the children's health and hence the court sought the explanation of DPI.