Odisha train tragedy: School used as makeshift mortuary to be demolished and rebuilt, but why?

Photo: IANS

Bhubaneswar | The Odisha government on Friday decided to demolish and reconstruct a part of the Bahanaga High School, including the premises used as makeshift mortuary to preserve bodies of people who lost lives in the triple train tragedy took place on June 2 evening.

The government has taken this decision after holding discussion with teachers, students, parents and all other stakeholders, who were opposed to continuation of education on the same campus as the images of deaths and injuries left an indelible stamp in their minds.

As per the instructions of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena, Secretary to Chief Minister, 5T, V.K. Pandian, and School & Mass Education Secretary S. Aswasthy interacted with Balasore Collector, School Management Committee members, Panchayat representatives, teachers, students, and the alumni association members through video conferencing on Friday.

After holding discussion with them, Patnaik has directed the authorities to make it a model school with its renovation under the 5T Initiative.

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Considering children's mental health, a decision was taken in the meeting to demolish the primary and elementary schools in the vicinity of the High School, said Pandian.

The District Collector has been asked to prepare a detailed plan and submit a report within 15 days.

"A new high school building is being conducted under the 5T transformation program and the work will be completed soon. Now, the government has directed to demolish the old asbestos building of primary and elementary schools located in its vicinity will be completely demolished and redeveloped," Balasore Collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde said.

The school was hastily turned into a temporary morgue, following the deadly train accident that claimed the lives of 288 people and injured over 1,000.

Later, the bodies were taken elsewhere and the school was cleaned, but there was fear among students, teachers, and the public. Therefore, various quarters demanded the demolition of the school and its reconstruction.

IANS

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