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Sindri’s civic nightmare

- PDIL colony residents appeal to Dhanbad corporation

SAIL’s proposed 5.6 MTPA steel plant and a possible revival of the Sindri Fertiliser Plant may hold out hope for the future, but for the thousand-odd residents of PDIL colony, day-to-existence in the once bustling industrial town has become a nightmare.

Residents of the colony in the Rohrabandh area of Sindri are compelled to live amidst overflowing drains, bad roads and perennial blackouts — this even after the management of Projects and Development India Limited (PDIL), a central PSU, raising the issue with the Sindri Circle of Dhanbad Municipal Corporation (DMC) on several occasions.

“We pay taxes to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh every three months to the corporation by way of holding tax and other charges for the entire colony. But, we are compelled to live in filth, stink and fear of an epidemic due to overflowing sewage,” said S.K. Chanda, PDIL chief manager (personnel and administration).

Chanda, who complained to secretary of the State Urban Development Department Nitin Madan Kulkarni on June 21 and has also met Dhanbad corporation CEO Awdhesh Kumar Pandey, said the situation had turned worse in the last one year as sweepers and cleaners had stopped visiting the colony.

The PDIL colony in Rohrabandh comprises 206 quarters of which 60 are bungalows and the remaining 146 are three bedroom quarters in double storey buildings.

Before the closure of the Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI) plant in Sindri in 2002, basic amenities and infrastructure requirements of the colony, like water, power and sanitation, were taken care of by the FCI.

But after 2002, Mineral Area and Development Authority (Mada) has been supplying water, while Jharkhand State Electricity board (JSEB) has been supplying power to the colony in lieu of charges.

Dhanbad Municipal Corporation is supposed to maintain 1.5km of peripheral roads and take care of the colony’s cleanliness.

Chanda said they had now been forced to hire private sweepers. “After all, we need to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic as water from overflowing drains often enters the quarters during monsoons,” he said.

Councillor of ward No. 53 Ajanta Jha blamed the corporation for the entire mess. “The corporation has provided five sweepers to all 55 wards of Sindri except wards 53, 54 and 55 on the pretext that 18 Grade IV employees are lying idle at the Sindri circle,” she said.

Corporation CEO Pandey, however, claimed they were taking all possible steps to provide basic facilities to PDIL residents, but added that their responsibility was limited to the public areas outside the colony.