With plasters falling off ceiling, employees wear helmet at workplace in Bihar govt office

The dilapidated condition of a government office in Bihar’s East Champaran district has forced its officials to wear helmet at workplace. With plasters peeling off the ceiling, the building construction department has declared the building unfit for use, but the authorities have found no alternate accommodation to shift the office, putting at risk lives of its staff and civilians coming to the office.

The dilapidated condition of the Areraj block-cum-circle office building in Bihar’s East Champaran district has prompted its employees to wear helmet at workplace.
The dilapidated condition of the Areraj block-cum-circle office building in Bihar’s East Champaran district has prompted its employees to wear helmet at workplace. (Photo: Dharmendra Kumar)

Government employees at the Areraj block-cum-circle office in Bihar’s East Champaran district have taken to wearing helmets for personal safety at workplace, turning into objects of curiosity and wonder.

Reason? The office, some 30 kms west of district headquarters Motihari, and 150 kms north-west of Patna, is in such a dilapidated condition that plasters peel off the ceiling and fall on their heads, putting officials and civilians coming to the office at risk.

“Even the block development officer (BDO) has been forced to wear a helmet. The building construction department has already declared the structure ‘unfit’, but no effort has been made to undertake repairs,” said Manoj Paswan, a village representative.


Ranjit Singh, a staff at the BDO’s office, said: “Many employees have reportedly sustained injuries due to falling of plaster from the ceiling. The situation has aggravated due to rains. The entire building also leaks, compromising the safety of office equipment, records, especially computers,” he said.

With the office located just beside the popular Areraj Shiv temple, many pilgrims also take refuge in the office corridors when it begins to rain, oblivious of the fact that they were putting their lives at risk.

BDO Amit Kumar Pandey said the matter has been communicated to senior officers many times in writing, but to no avail.

He said the building construction department had two years back declared the building hazardous and unfit for use. The authorities have, however, found no alternate accommodation to shift the office.

When HT contacted East Champaran district magistrate Anupam Kumar for comments, he reeled out a mobile number and said, “Please talk to the sub-divisional officer (SDO) concerned.”

SDO Vijay Pandey said, “We are in the process of shifting the office and should complete it by Monday. We have already moved the staff of circle office to an adjoining community hall . The block office and staff of Right to Public Services (RTPS) will be shifted tomorrow to the adjoining Krishi bhawan. We had ordered shifting of offices immediately after the adverse report from the building division, but the BDO delayed the process. We have already issued him show-cause notice, asking him to explain the reason for delay in shifting.”

Show-cause notices had also been served on the four RTPS staff in the video for taking their problem to the media and not apprising their seniors, he added.


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