The asbestos shed of platform No.1 being replaced with galvanised sheets on Friday. (Animesh Sengupta)
Rain or shine, passengers at Tatanagar railway station will no longer complain of wet luggage or skin tan.
The Chakradharpur railway division has embarked on a six-month project to replace the leaking asbestos sheds with galvanised sheets.
K.N. Ghosh, senior divisional engineer (co-ordination) of Chakradharpur division, said they had kept in mind passenger problems before taking the decision, which might inconvenience travellers for a while but benefit everyone in the long run.
“Passengers waiting for trains on platforms one to five have braved the rain and sun in the past. Monsoons were worse, because the damaged sheds flooded platforms. All these inconveniences are set to change,” he said.
Railway sources revealed that the passenger sheds on the five platforms had not been repaired or replaced in the last two decades. “Maintenance was also not up to the mark, which resulted in frequent trouble for passengers,” a source at Tatanagar station said.
According to Ghosh, the railways had loosened its purse strings to release Rs 1 crore for the job. “Leaking asbestos sheds will be replaced by galvanised sheets, which are basically iron coated with zinc to prevent corrosion,” he informed.
The senior railway official, who is himself supervising the work, added that coloured galvanised sheets would be used to give Tatanagar, which is an A-category station, a fresh and furnished look.
Spokesperson of Chakradharpur railway division K.N. Biswas said it would take some six months to complete the facelift project. “Work has already begun at platform No. 1. It will be later extended to others,” he said.
Several important trains, including Duronto and Rajdhani travel via Tatanagar, which caters to some 50,000 passengers on any given day.
The Chotanagpur Passenger Association and the Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) had raised the leaking shed issue at different railway forums in the past.
“Earlier, when it rained, passengers and their luggage got wet because the sheds did not protect them from the water. We welcome the move of the railways to revamp the structures,” said a functionary of the passenger outfit.
Vice-president of SCCI Suresh Sonthalia said it was better late than never. “The railways should have done the job a couple of years ago. But, we are glad it is being done.”