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Parvati Devi, 60 (name changed), a native of Pirpainty who was traveling from Saharsha, got alighted from Saharasa passenger train at Bhagalpur railway station, the last destination. Unable to hold control over the Nature’s call, she sat on the platform.
Unfortunately, her such big ‘nuisance’ publically on broad daylight was noticed by two RPF constables who were patrolling on the platform. She along with one aged couple also on that day caught red handed by the railway’s security personnel for such offence when Indian railway has concentrated on Swachhhata Abhiyan much more.
Other passengers who are alighted from the train along with others who were waiting for their trains on platform No 2-3 at Bhagalpur railway station, virtually jumped on the RFP personnel and managed to rescue the “offenders” from RPF’s net. “The aged persons have not committed any offence since there is no proper arrangement of toilets inside the passenger trains. ironically enough, railway yet not arrange any toilet on the other platforms here except platform No 1, the main portion of Bhagalpur railway station,” said Binoy Kumar, a passenger.
Many railway employees at Bhagalpur including many railway’s security personnel admitted that such incidents become common at the other platforms in station premises where people are compelled to commit such nuisances in absence of toilets.
“I was recently caught by the RPF as I was waiting for a train to Patna in a chilled winter night. Since there is no toilet on the platform, I preferred the railway tracks for releasing the pressure. I had to give Rs 1200 to the RPF as there was not a single person to come forward for my release,” said Budhaan Kumar, a young boy and a native of Mirjanhat locality at Bhagalpur.
Many old timers recalled a very interesting story of back 1909 on this Kiul-Sahenganj-Rampurhat section of Eastern railways which was known as Sahebganj loop section. One railway passenger, Okil Chandra Sen who travelling on a train, had to alighted at Ahmadpur railway station to attain Nature’s call. But very unfortunately, his train had whistle away from the station before he arrived from the nearby field.
Sen wrote a hilarious letter to then than divisional railway office, Sahebganj while mentioning his poor condition after missing the train. He however, urged the railways to arrange toilets inside the rail compartments. The letter supposedly led to the introduction of toilets on the trains. And the letter of Sen is preserved at the railway museum, New Delhi.
“The than British officials were sensitives, they took cognizance of Sen’s letter and arranged the toilets on rails immediately. Despite of having all facilities and when many movements like Swachhhata Abhiyan is on its hike, concerned railway officials yet not woke up from their slumbers here,” alleged Bidhu Bhushan Yadav, a retired government school teacher here. The also lambasted the representatives of divisional railway user consultative committee (DRUCC) or members of other such committees who even failed to identified such chaotic problem at Bhagalpur.
Concerned railway officials here however said that all the passenger trains have toilets. When asked whether the toilets are in condition or not, they remained tightlipped. They on condition of anonymity admitted such harassment faced by the passengers here on the platforms become common phenomena mainly due to lack of toilets on the platforms.
Bhagalpur railway station is one of the most important railway station under Malda division of eastern railways and in number third in revenue generating. “Despite the facts as per as passenger facilities in terms of good long distance trains or the other basic civic facilities at Bhagalpur station , it’s not up to the mark. Railway always neglects Bhagalpur,” alleged Sanjit Kumar, noted social worker.
Kumar mentioned early promised by then than union railway minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav to open a new railway division of Eastern railways at Bhagalpur thrown into west paper box by the influential lobbies of Bengal who are opposing bifurcation of Malda division of Eastern railways.
Many social bodies and social activists blamed railways for ignoring Bhagalpur. “We will take the issue, it’s a serious offence by part of the railways for not arranging basic passenger facilities,” said Ajit Kumar, a noted RIT activist here.