Tragic School Roof Collapse in Baddowal: SDM's Report Deems School Building Unfit for Use

Rozana Spokesman

News, Punjab

Preliminary Investigation Reveals Critical Flaws, Questions Arise Over Inspection Oversight

Roof Collapse in Baddowal

LUDHIANA: The Preliminary Investigation into the heart-wrenching incident of a schoolteacher's untimely demise due to a roof collapse at a government school in Baddowal has concluded, delivering a shocking revelation. According to the investigative report, the aging school building in question was declared unfit for use, shedding light on a critical safety lapse in the Magistrate's inquiry. SDM West has since submitted the comprehensive inquiry report to the District Collector (DC).

On the fateful day of August 23, tragedy struck when a 45-year-old female teacher, Ravinder Kaur, lost her life in the collapse, and three others, Narinderjit Kaur, Sukhjit Kaur, and Indu Rani, sustained injuries.

In response to the incident, DC Surbhi Malik promptly ordered a magisterial inquiry. The investigative team, led by SDM West Dr. Harjinder Singh, visited the site and diligently recorded statements from the injured individuals and school staff. Additionally, they sought essential documents from the Chandigarh headquarters for a comprehensive assessment. The Education Minister himself visited Ludhiana and emphasized the importance of an engineering inspection to assess the building's quality.

Notably, the Gram Panchayat of Baddowal, through its Sarpanch Jaspreet Singh, has formally communicated the possibility of reopening the school. In their letter, they noted that two blocks, constructed approximately three to four years ago, remain suitable for educational use. This prospect is under active consideration.

In the report, the executive engineer has detailed that the Dean Testing and Consultancy Cell of Gurunanak Dev Engineering College has requested Rs 1.70 lakh and GST for conducting Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) of the building.

However, the investigation has raised significant questions about oversight and responsibility. This has led to concerns regarding why the old building was not inspected, given its critical importance. Furthermore, the investigative report holds officials accountable by mandating an annual safety survey of government school buildings, emphasizing the need for regular inspections by the school head and the district education officer.