Rats found in Coimbatore school’s water purifiers

COIMBATORE: Parents of Stanes Anglo Indian School spotted dead and live rats in the school’s water purifiers on Tuesday.

A group of parents visited the school on Tuesday morning to submit their grievances. “While we were waiting to meet the school officials, we checked a water purifier in the administrative block and found dead rats in it,” said Vinod Raj, a parent.

The children of these parents study in the ICSE board. Suspecting a similar situation in the ICSE block’s water purifier, the parents checked that too and found live rats there.

The parents informed the public health department, and officials conducted an inspection. They confirmed the presence of rats in the purifiers and ordered to clean them.

Headmaster of the school Peter J Selvanayagam said the two water purifiers were dysfunctional. “The two purifiers have been dysfunctional for the last three-four days. The maintenance manager is on leave today (Tuesday) and that could be the reason why there were rats in the water purifiers,” Peter said.

However, a senior official of the public health department said that if the water purifiers were dysfunctional, they should have been removed until they were repaired or replaced.

While Selvanayagam claimed that the purifier in the ICSE block was dysfunctional, TOI checked the purifier and water was available. Students told TOI that they fetched water from that purifier on Tuesday morning.

Officials of the health department checked a few students who consumed water from this purifier.

When asked about the steps being taken by the school to fix the dysfunctional purifiers, the headmaster said, “We have informed the mechanics and are expecting the purifiers to be fixed soon.”

However, one of the officials who inspected the school said annual maintenance work had not been carried out for a long time. “It could be two or three years since the last annual maintenance work was carried out,” the official said.

The parents alleged that the school was not utilising the new ICSE block for the students and had accommodated CBSE students in it.

“We have paid nearly Rs 1 lakh for the construction of the new block, and the school is unwilling to shift the students to that. The present block that accommodates ICSE students is nearly 90 years old, and it is dangerous for the children to be in it,” Subashini Eswar, another parent, said.

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