A stomach-churning image in the foreground of a residential colony beside Station-Parsudih Road on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Tatanagar station may be among the list of A-category stations thanks to its shining platforms, but its surrounding areas appear to bear the brunt of it as the private cleaning agency engaged by the railways dumps dirt outside.
Workers of MB Services, which has been entrusted with the work of keeping Tatanagar spanking clean, are dumping tonnes of garbage collected from station platforms on Railway Traffic Colony along Station-Parsudih Road.
The filth is so bad that residents have to keep their doors, windows and even ventilators closed.
“We have never experienced this amount of dirt and stench earlier. Dirt collected from Tatanagar platforms is dumped close to our colony. During monsoon, the filth and slush are a lethal combination,” said a resident, also a Tatanagar railway employee, who declined to be named. “My son, who stays in Bangalore, refuses to come home to us.”
“I cross the road by tightly pressing a handkerchief to my nose,” resident Anjali Devi added. “So many people live at Railway Traffic Colony. How can garbage from Tatanagar be dumped in our area?” she asked.
MB Services, which bagged the Tatanagar job contract in 2013, used to initially dump garbage at a vacant plot in Karandih, about 2km from the station. But since the past one year, it has been dumping the garbage near Railway Traffic Colony, less than 100 metres from Tatanagar.
Surprisingly, the colony is around 50 metres from Tatanagar’s Railway Protection Force (RPF) offices, but that had not deterred the cleaners from dumping filth.
When contacted, Chakradharpur divisional railway manager S. Kole said it was “a bad thing” to happen.
“The fact that the cleaners are offloading filth close to a residential colony is alarming. According to the contract, MB Agency was instructed to dump garbage collected from Tatanagar at a suitable place, but it was not specified where,” Kole said, adding he would look into the matter and take necessary action against the agency.
Tatanagar station superintendent Awatar Singh added that it appeared that in the lack of a specific directive of where to dump the collected garbage, cleaners were taking the easy way out.
“The cleaning agency engaged before MB Services had been directed to dump the filth at a open field in Karandih. In the case of Karandih, no specific directive about the site to dump garbage had been mentioned in the contract,” he said.
No one from the management of MB Services could be contacted for comment despite several attempts, but an official from the agency said they would dump garbage wherever they felt “suitable”.