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Horrible court now says hello

- CJ prods clean-up act at capital landmark

If stinking garbage, spilling drains and stained walls are the repulsively long-lived images you have of Ranchi civil court premises, pay a visit again. Freshly painted walls, unclogged drains, a regular garbage disposal system and pruned plants will do you absolute justice.

The squalor of the Kutchery Chowk landmark, hosting no less than 10,000 people on a working day, has disappeared in less than a fortnight, thanks to chief justice of Jharkhand High Court R. Banumathi.

The chief justice had first visited the civil court premises on November 23 to inaugurate a lok adalat. Appalled by the condition in which 1,000-odd lawyers and judiciary staff work, she directed the administrative wing headed by the registrar to ensure immediate reprieve. Soon thereafter, mounds of garbage were removed, drains cleaned and the meditation centre painted.

Although much remains to be done — like having separate restrooms for men and women who work here in place of the solitary toilet that exists — everybody at the court agreed that a beginning had been made.

“We are feeling much better. Our job no longer brings us to a garbage dump. The stink is gone too. The air smells of fresh paint every morning. If madam (chief justice Banumathi) keeps visiting the court at regular intervals, this will be one of the best places to work in,” said a lawyer, requesting anonymity.

On Wednesday evening, the chief justice paid a surprise visit and inspected the tidying drive for about half an hour. Besides mandatory cleaning of garbage, the civil court parking lot too was streamlined and trees were trimmed to make the premises look inviting for a change.

“Madam was happy with the new look of the campus, particularly that of the mediation centre. She is genuinely concerned about the good of lower courts,” said Ranchi civil court registrar Rajiv Ranjan.

He conceded that there was more scope for further improvement. “We have plans to raise a shaded parking. All the other buildings will receive fresh coat of paint in the coming days,” he added.

Women lawyers reiterated that separate and better restrooms were the need of the hour. “We are 50 women working at the civil court. There is just one toilet, which again is a common one shared with our male colleagues. We need at least separate loos for men and women,” one of them said.

Normally, the civil court draws up a to-do list and forwards the same to the public works department, which carries out additional constructions and gives a paintjob or facelift to existing buildings. The civil court does not have its own fund for such works.

Ranjan maintained that the public works department had already been apprised of the need for an additional toilet. “It will be built soon,” he said.

Do you think the civil court will retain its clean look?