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Passenger sheds turn shops in Dhanbad

Most of the dozen-odd passenger sheds dotting various roads of the coal town are in poor shape

By Praduman Choubey in Dhanbad

  • Published 7.09.19, 3:25 AM
  • Updated 7.09.19, 3:25 AM
Vegetable vendors occupy a passenger shed at Police Line in Dhanbad
Vegetable vendors occupy a passenger shed at Police Line in Dhanbad Picture by Gautam Dey

Most of the dozen-odd passenger sheds dotting various roads of the coal town are either in poor shape due to poor maintenance or have been converted into shops as autos do not stop there to pick up or drop passengers.

Worst hit are the sheds on Court Road, Bartand, Police Lines, ISM Gate, and the ones near Gandhi Seva Sadan, Golf Ground and Bastacola. These have become the refuge of barbers and vegetable vendors. Some are functioning as eateries, depriving commuters of the opportunity to stand in the shade while waiting for transport.

Bishwajit Bhattacharjee, a Telipara lawyer, said he was suffering every day.

“My house is 3km from the court and I usually walk there. But sometimes during sudden rain I have no option but to take shelter under the sheds that have now become shops. It’s the same drill while I return from court,” he said.

Bastacola resident Ankit Jha agreed. “I come to the bus stop near a passenger shed with my son to put him up on his school bus. Sometimes, when the bus arrives late, we feel tired of standing in the sun. But since there is no way we can use the sheds I curse my fate for having to live in a town where amenities aren’t maintained,” he said.

President of Dhanbad Federation of Dhanbad Zila Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rajesh Kumar Gupta blamed Dhanbad Municipal Corporation, saying the problem had arisen because it had not allocated proper auto stands.

“As the passengers sheds are located at places where auto-rickhshaws do not stop, they have become useless. Since passengers do not use them, roadside vendors end up occupying the sheds,” he explained.

Gupta said that DMC should first allocate auto-rickshaw stands and then, with help of local police, ensure three-wheelers stop only at designated stops. “DMC should also put up signboards on the passenger sheds to ensure proper use,” he said.

DMC commissioner Chandramohan Kashyap said they have been carrying out drives to ensure the passenger sheds aren’t encroached upon. “But after sometime, vendors return to the sheds since they do not have any alternative place to set up shop,” he said.

Kashyap said DMC was trying to work towards a comprehensive solution. “We are building vending zones across various circles that come under the corporation, namely, Jharia, Dhanbad, Sindri, Katras and Chhatatand. We want to accommodate all 3,978 vendors in these vending zones,” he said.

The commissioner said construction of two vending zones in Jharia and one in Dhanbad was on. “After accommodating street vendors in these vending zones that will be equipped with all facilities like electricity connection, water supply and toilets, we will renovate passenger sheds and ensure their proper utilisation,” he said.