Ernakulam Collector Renu Raj claims dallying on schools' holiday was 'right call'

Renu Raj
District Collector Renu Raj addresses a press meet at Ernakulam Press Club. Photo: I&PRD

Even as she faced a barrage of criticism from the public for delaying a holiday announcement for educational institutions amid heavy rains, Ernakulam district collector Dr Renu Raj is convinced she did the right thing.

Addressing the media here on Wednesday, Raj said she only played by the book. "I don't think I made a mistake, I'm convinced what I did was right at that time," Raj told mediapersons.

"We had to take a call. I admit there was an inconvenience, but I had to take a call between inconvenience and safety," she added.

The incident occurred last Thursday when the India Meteorological Department had forecast heavy rains for central Kerala districts and parents were anticipating holidays for schools amid concerns over a rise in water levels in major rivers.

"There was no red alert on the day initially, so as per rules it was not necessary to give a holiday," explained Dr Raj, who had only recently taken charge as the collector of Ernakulam after being transferred from Alappuzha.

"The early morning alert showed a decreasing trend in rainfall, but the second one that came by 7.30 said heavy rains would lash the district over the next three hours and that water level would rise and that happened."

The collector's holiday announcement came by 8.30 am at which time a large number of students had left for the schools. The delayed announcement resulted in heavy backlash on social media with the collector's official Facebook account bearing the brunt.

"Criticism is most welcome, that is how we learn. I will try 100% to not repeat it. But had we chosen to let the students continue in school until noon and then declared a holiday, in the case of any untoward incident you people would have blamed me," she added.

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