The Bombay High Court on Wednesday expressed concern about the lack of mobile network in 829 villages in the Gadchiroli District of eastern Maharashtra which makes it difficult for the children there to attend online school.

A Division Bench of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Anil Pansare of the Nagpur Bench of the High Court directed the state government to submit a reply on the issue.

The Court has registered a Public Interest Litigation on the issue `suo motu'.

Advocate Firdos Mirza has been appointed as amicus curie to assist the High Court.

The Court had received several letters from children living in remote villages about lack of power supply and the internet.

Lacking the internet, they can not study online amid the coronavirus pandemic like the children in urban areas do, the letters complained.

Referring to an affidavit submitted by the Department of Telecommunication, New Delhi, the court said 829 villages in Gadchiroli do not have mobile networks.

"One can very well imagine as to what would happen to the future of the next generation in the district," the High Court said.

"It was also contended that because of online classes in some places, no mid-day meals are being provided to children and no allowance whatsoever in lieu of midday meals (which they would have got in offline schools) is being given," the Bench said.

The High Court directed the Tribal Welfare Department of the Maharashtra government to submit a list of schools providing education up to Class 10 in the Gadchiroli District, and adjourned the hearing for four weeks.

With PTI inputs