The proposed approach road for the south side extension complex of Dhanbad Railway station, the construction of which stopped after student protests on January 16, has polarised the town.
While members of Federation of Dhanbad Zilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry are opposing any delay in road construction, Dhanbad MLA Raj Sinha is opposing the road that would cut through DAV School, Purana Bazar.
On January 16, over 50 students of DAV School, Purana Bazar, with their parents and over 100 residents came for an hour-long roadblock at Birsa Chowk near the school. They protested the alleged lathicharge carried out by Railway Protection Force personnel on a group of social activists, led by Ranjit Singh Parmar, who were staging a fast-unto-death against the road that would enter DAV school grounds.
Dhanbad MLA Sinha told The Telegraph on Sunday that he was not against the approach road for the south side extension complex of Dhanbad station but only opposing the road entering the school campus. “During October 20, the detailed project report shown to us by railway authorities stated the road was 25m from DAV school grounds but now it enters the grounds. Under what circumstances the DPR was changed we can’t say,” he said. “If the grounds are snatched away, the existence of the school is under question. Under RTE Act, every school needs grounds.”
Public relations officer of Dhanbad division, East Central Railway, P.K. Mishra admitted it was not clear how the DPR of the road project changed.
But pro-road citizens, like Prabhat Surolia, president of Bank Mor Chamber of Commerce, said it would help lakhs of passengers from Jharia, Jamadoba, Sindri, Patherdih, Sudamdih, Jorapokhar to reach Dhanbad station, and ease traffic snarls in Bank Mor, the coal town’s commercial hub. President of Purana Bazar Chamber of Commerce Md Sohrab said the road would help shopkeepers of Purana Bazar access more customers.