Land subsidence and environmental neglect threaten Isfahan’s educational institutions

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Located in the heart of Iran, Isfahan is a city steeped in history and culture, famous for its breathtaking architecture and vibrant landscapes.

But amidst the splendor of its ancient ruins lies a pressing environmental crisis that threatens the very foundations of educational institutions.

Isfahan has been grappling with an alarming problem of land subsidence for many years, exacerbating the challenges facing the education system.

This crisis, rooted in historical neglect and modern environmental mismanagement, casts a shadow over the city’s schools, putting the safety and future of its million students at risk.

The once stable basements of Isfahan’s schools are now trembling with the disturbing reality of subsidence. This phenomenon manifests itself through visible cracks in the ceilings, walls, prayer rooms, and staircases of educational facilities and has emerged as a major crisis for Isfahan’s education system.

The struggle for adequate educational space is intensifying, with 1 million students in a state where a staggering 10,000 of the 30,000 classrooms built without adhering to special regulations are more than 40 years old. affected.

Isfahan authorities have revealed the dire situation, indicating that 3,000 of the 10,000 classrooms in dilapidation are in urgent need of demolition.

Despite the efforts of the School Reconstruction Authority to implement long-term plans to rebuild these schools, the rapid pace of land subsidence in Isfahan is outpacing the official strategy.

This alarming reality has led to the complete destruction of some schools and calls for urgent reconstruction and improvement efforts in others.

Isfahan’s educational districts, especially districts 4, 5, and 6, are bearing the brunt of land subsidence. Moreover, the phenomenon has spread its influence to other educational districts within this vast metropolis, affecting schools in Barkkar, Pirbakran, Kashan, Alan, and Bidgol to varying degrees.

Forty schools in Isfahan province have reported damage due to land subsidence, raising concerns about the damage, with six schools exceeding danger limits and requiring immediate evacuation orders.

Last year alone, 34 schools were affected by land subsidence, underscoring the seriousness of the problem.

Structural analysis revealed that the old-school material structure was experiencing subsidence of up to 2.5 cm per year, four times faster than the permissible limit.

The northern regions of Isfahan city bear a disproportionate burden, including Imam Khomeini Street, Khane district, Razman Degan Street, Kaveh town, and Khorasgan, which is struggling with land subsidence rates of up to 15 centimeters per year in Komeshce Borkar. ing.

The roots of Isfahan’s land subsidence date back to 1967, when the Isfahan-Borhar plain was declared off-limits due to the threat of land subsidence.

Nevertheless, politically and economically motivated illegal extraction of underground resources continued.

Statistics reveal the shocking reality that there are 61,422 licensed and unlicensed wells in Isfahan province, depleting 2.52 billion cubic meters of water from groundwater sources annually.

In recent years, land subsidence has turned into a complex crisis in Isfahan province, as the regime’s effects of drought, unchecked harvesting and unreplenishment of groundwater tables have worsened.

As this ancient city grapples with its environmental impact, urgent intervention is essential to protect its educational institutions and ensure a sustainable future for its ambitious students.

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