The Druk Padma Karpo School in Leh, which shot to fame after it featured in the Aamir Khan-starrer blockbuster 3 Idiots, has denied reports that it will raze the 'Rancho Wall'. The school said it is upgrading the structure and the campus buildings to make them stronger against seismic threats.
The school also denied it is banning entry of tourists into the campus.
The school's response came on a report by news agency Press Trust of India last week that said it would raze the wall as it was attracting a lot of tourists and disturbing students.
"The movie gave a lot of publicity to the school and it became a must visit for the tourists visiting Ladakh. However, we realised that the purpose of having a school in the area was getting defeated. Not only students were getting distracted by the tourists flocking the school but also every day the campus was being reduced to a litter ground," school principal Stanzin Kunzang was quoted as saying by PTI.
The wall was shot in a scene when one of the characters, Chatur, tries to urinate on it and gets electrocuted by an ingenious invention of school children.
The school later painted it as the 'Rancho Wall' which became a picture spot for tourists.
The international project office manages the design and construction of the school.
"Currently, there is a refurbishment programme taking place, which includes upgrading the buildings' seismic resilience. This is for staff and student safety," said Rachel Glynn, Project Manager, Design and Construction, Druk Padma Karpo School.
"The Rancho Wall is not being razed to the ground. Only the upper storey, which has been temporarily removed, will be replaced with a lighter structure," Rachel Glynn said.
The project manager said the school's governing body has prepared an enhanced 3 Idiots visitor experience at the top of the school campus, near the existing visitor centre and Rancho's cafe.
"Tourists have not been banned and are very much still welcomed. For health and safety reasons, tourists have been stopped from wandering through the school," Rachel Glynn said.
Set up in 1998 by the Druk Padma Karpo Education Society, the school was partially destroyed in the flash floods and landslides that hit the town in 2010, but was renovated, thereafter.
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