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Terminus drive draws blank

A civic body team, with huge bulldozers in tow, walked into the Birsa Munda Bus Stand at Khadgarha with an intention to pull down old buildings and illegal establishments and clear the area for a new, state-of-the-art terminus.

Only, the drive, which promised to begin with a bang, ended in a whimper, as the demolition army returned without razing a single building.

Deputy chief executive officer of Ranchi Municipal Corporation S.K. Lal said the team, which included engineers, wanted to raze an old government building located on the eastern side of the premises on Monday. But after the group reached the bus stand around 12.30pm, they found that a few huts, with occupants inside, came in the way of the building. Hence, the officials first decided to convince the residents to vacate the place before going ahead with the drive.

“The illegal huts were still found to have occupants. Hence, we did not demolish the building, as the debris would have fallen on the shanties. Though no substantial work could be done, we still count today as a formal beginning of our drive,” Lal said, promising to come back on Tuesday.

The squatters, on the other hand, pleaded with RMC officials to give them more time to move out in view of the monsoon.

“But the encroachers have been told to shift to places like raen baseras, the shelters for the poor, by tomorrow (Tuesday) . As we go ahead with razing the huts and government buildings, there is no option for them but to move out. But we will go slow as, they need to be dealt with sympathy,” said an RMC official.

Khadgarha is one of the state’s main terminuses from where over 300 buses leave for Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Bokaro and Chaibasa in Jharkhand, Calcutta and Durgapur in Bengal, Patna, Gaya and Muzaffarpur in Bihar and Bhubaneswar in Odisha.

The urban development department has earmarked Rs 9.74 crore for its makeover with Governor Syed Ahmed laying the foundation stone about a fortnight ago.