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Dhanbad resident to stage indefinite fast agitation over water body

Dinesh Dhari threatens that if he is evicted by force then he will not hesitate to self-immolate himself before PMO

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 20.03.23, 03:12 AM
Dinesh Dhari (centre) showing the letter to the Prime Minister’s Office intimating about his fast unto death at Jantar Mantar in Delhi while informing media at Dhanbad on Wednesday.

Dinesh Dhari (centre) showing the letter to the Prime Minister’s Office intimating about his fast unto death at Jantar Mantar in Delhi while informing media at Dhanbad on Wednesday. Shabbir Hussain

A 38-year-old resident of Jharkhand’s Dhanbad will stage an indefinite fast agitation at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to remind the Prime Minister of the lack of action to protect a water body in his native place.

Dinesh Dhari, a casual labourer at Kusunda under the Kenduadih police station in Dhanbad district, informed media at Dhanbad on Wednesday evening of his plan to sit on an indefinite fast agitation in Delhi from March 20 hurt at the inaction on the part of the Prime Minister’s Office in stopping the railway ministry to protect a pond at Kusunda.


“I may be sitting on dharna alone but I have the support of 20,000 residents of Kusunda who are dependent on the pond for meeting their daily needs, especially washing clothes, performing rituals during festivals and especially during summer for their drinking water. I have already started receiving a sacrificial contribution from poor residents to help me in arranging travel and other miscellaneous expenses for going to Delhi,” said Dhari.

He threatened that if he is evicted by force while undertaking the indefinite fast then he would not hesitate to self-immolate himself before the PMO.

“I have a wife and two small kids but I have decided to take this fight to a logical conclusion and get the demands of the local residents of protecting the water body fulfilled. I would not hesitate to self-immolate if I am evicted from Jantar Mantar by government authorities. I would not budge from the spot till my demands are fulfilled,” said Dhari.

Narrating further, Dhari claims that he had staged a day-long dharna at Jantar Mantar on November 4 last year.

“During that time I had received assurance from the officials at the Prime Minister’s Office that my demands would be placed before the railway board and suitable action would be undertaken. I even got a reply from the railway ministry on November 28, 2022, which directed the General Manager East Central Railway, Hajipur (Dhanbad falls under East Central Railway zone) to look into my demands and inform the PMO, the railway board and also sent a copy to me. But nothing has happened so far and water in the pond is drying,” alleged Dhari.

Dhari showed a letter from deputy director railway board dated November 28, 2022, to buttress his point.

“I have been writing and meeting senior railway officials in Dhanbad with the grievances of the residents regarding the pond for the last three years. But no action has been initiated so far,” further claimed Dhari.

He alleged that the Kusunda pond (as the locals call it) was owned by the railways for a long time.

“However, Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL-a subsidiary of Coal India Limited) a few years ago started drawing water from the pond for its crusher units in its siding. This has led to a reduction in water level. We have been requesting the railways to stop allowing BCCL to use the water. Railways have also not heeded to our demands for cleaning and beautification of the pond. Even Dhanbad Municipal Corporation has expressed its inability to beautify the pond till they get a clearance from the railway,” said Dhari.

Dhari claimed to have met BJP MP from Dhanbad P.N. Singh several times and also the local BJP MLA Raj Sinha.

“But have only received verbal assurance from them. Nothing has happened on ground level so far,” said Dhari.

Dhanbad railway division senior divisional commercial manager Amresh Kumar said that he can only comment on the issue after speaking to the concerned authorities.

“I am not aware of this issue and can only comment after looking into the matter and consultation with other officials,” said Kumar.

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