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Collectorate develops better taste

Bothered by babudom? Munch to beat the stress.

The grub may not be subsidised under the Mukhya Mantri Dal-Bhaat Yojana, but it sure will be kind on the pocket besides being healthy.

Come New Year, Ranchi’s biggest public office — the district collectorate — will host its first canteen in three years to ease hunger pangs of both employees and visitors.

Construction of the second phase of the collectorate complex is, finally, over and deputy commissioner V.K. Choubey, who shifted his office to the second floor of the new five-storied building on Friday, said the eatery would be housed on the ground floor while other offices under him would find room on the first floor.

“We have decided to run a canteen on the ground floor. It will be accessible from both the old and new buildings. Currently, we are scouting for a suitable agency to outsource the job,” Choubey said, adding that they expected to finalise the contract by year-end and open the eatery in January.

Whether the canteen would offer only snacks or also serve up hot meals is yet to be decided, but the deputy commissioner promised that it would certainly help satisfy one’s appetite.

Roughly, around 700 people work at the Ranchi collectorate, which houses the offices of the district police and district transport department among several others. The footfall of visitors on any working day is also 2,000 or more. However, there is no decent eatery in the vicinity to dish out lunch to people who wait for hours to get their work done. “A canteen will be blessing. At present, we walk half a kilometre for even tea and snacks,” said Subodh Kumar, an employee.

The old five-storied building, which came up in 2009, meanwhile, remains an eyesore with no drinking water kiosks, dirty toilets, defunct lifts and littered stairways. A collectorate official stressed that the scene would be different at the new building. “It will be no-smoking zone, and spitting and littering will invite spot fines,” he warned.

Najazat deputy collector Arbind Mishra, who is responsible for upkeep of the collectorate, cites funds crunch behind the pathetic condition of the old building. “We don’t have money for maintenance. The former deputy commissioner (K.K. Soan) had floated three tenders, but the government didn’t sanction money,” he said on an earlier occasion.

Choubey offered hope. “The new building, modelled on the old one, has enough room. After shifting all government offices from Kutchery, we will still be left with a couple of floors, which we will be rented out. Many agencies have approached us and we are examining their credentials. We want to rent the floors to banks or educational institutions. The revenue will be used for upkeep of both buildings.”