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Terminus taps in makeover mode

Jamshedpur’s shamed Sitaramdera terminus is all set to shed its inhospitable tag.

From Wednesday, thirsty passengers will no longer have to buy bottled water at inflated prices. An overhead tank is fit and full to supply water to new taps installed at the hitherto defunct kiosk on the premises, while the terrible toilet and obnoxious urinal have been promised makeover by June-end.

Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), which exercises jurisdiction over Sitaramdera, has hauled up the private player who won maintenance rights of the terminus for Rs 78 lakh over a month ago.

Instead of waiting for Sidhgora-based businessman Tarkeshwar Tiwary to act, the urban local body fixed the tank and installed taps on its own on Monday. The tank-tap connection was completed on Tuesday evening and drinking water for passengers will be a reality from Wednesday.

The JNAC has strictly instructed the private player to arrange earthen vessels filled with water in adequate numbers near passenger sheds and entrance and exit gates. Tiwary and his men seem to have taken the order seriously as a few pitchers were seen at the terminus on Tuesday.

In its report, Bus terminus terminally ill, published on May 15, The Telegraph had mirrored the pathetic state of passenger amenities at the 1.5-acre bus depot along Sakchi-Mango road that was built for Rs 1.2 crore in 1998. Sitaramdera is the largest terminus in Kolhan region and hosts 400-odd buses bound for various destinations in Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. More than 30,000 people use the terminus every day. While the private player equipped the premises with closed-circuit television cameras, it conveniently forgot to ensure drinking water and lavatory facilities.

JNAC special officer Deepak Sahay insisted that such shameful days of Sitaramdera were over. He said a team of two engineers had carried out an inspection of the terminus on May 17 after which an overhead water tank of 1,500-litre capacity was installed on Monday followed by three taps at the defunct kiosk. “Civic officials will ensure connection between the overhead tank and taps by Tuesday evening. Supply to the tank, in turn, will be replenished by Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco,” he said.

Sahay added that they would draw up an estimate for modification of the toilet and urinal with separate entrances for men and women. “We will meet East Singhbhum deputy commissioner to discuss this problem and get funds sanction. We hope to gift passengers a new facility by the end of next month.”

Private partner Tiwary, on his part, said he had placed a dozen pitchers across the terminus for thirsty passengers. “This arrangement for cool drinking water will continue for the entire summer. A guard will be deputed to prevent pilferage and theft,” he said.

Tiwary also promised to hire hands to clean the proposed toilets three times a day.