Anirudh Sarkar, a 65-year-old diabetic patient, suddenly had the urge to relieve himself while waiting to board a train at platform No. 3 of Tatanagar railway station a week ago. The retired Tata Steel employee from Sonari had to walk more than 200 meters, cross the overbridge and reach the main platform (No. 1) to use the urinal
Porters had to carry Sangram Patro (32), a physically challenged resident of Sitaramdera, on a wheelchair to the main platform from platform No. 4 so that he could use the toilet last week
Tales of toilet ordeal such as these will soon be a thing of the past at Tatanagar railway station with the authorities planning to build separate restrooms for men and women on all the platforms of Chakradharpur railway division’s only A-category junction by this December.
Station manager Avtar Singh said: “We have got the go-ahead from divisional railway manager of Chakradharpur for constructing separate toilets for men and women at the platforms devoid of such facilities. Work will have to be completed by December this year. There will be at least two urinals for men and the same number of toilets for women in each platform. The railway officials will select the site soon and work will commence by the end of this month.”
At present, Tatanagar, which witnesses a daily footfall of 60,000-plus and passage of around 90 trains, has toilets only at platform No. 1. The other platforms (Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5) — known as “island platforms” in railway parlance — don’t have any restroom, leaving passengers with no other option but to either walk over to the main platform or relieve themselves somewhere near, inviting fines.
Singh added that railway engineers would also take stock of the drainage system at the toilets.
Executive committee member of Chotanagpur Passengers’ Association Shravan Debuka, who has been demanding urinals at all platforms for several years, expressed relief.
“I had written to Union railway minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda soon after he assumed office in May and also submitted copies of my previous correspondences with railway officials on the issue of toilets at all platforms of Tatanagar railway station. I have received a letter from the DRM that the toilets will be constructed by December this year,” Debuka said.