The famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway also called ‘Toy Train,’ is set to be preserved for the family. UNESCO and the Indian Railways have set out on building up a ‘Far-reaching Conservation Management Plan’ (CCMP) for the old British-period rail legacy.
A center and rest zone will settle around 75 km long tight gauge track which keeps running between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. Rules will set up for support of its lovely steam trains, hardware and noteworthy stations like Kurseong. Indeed, even its intangible legacy like craftsmanship will record. A specialist group has as of now gone to the site twice. It’s a two-year-long trial, and an asset of more than 5.34 lakh US dollars included.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) announced a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999, just the second railroad after Austria’s Semmering (1998) to have this honor offered to it. It was also Asia’s first ‘modern legacy’ site to be engraved on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. All around, the first was Poland’s Wieliczka salt mine (1978). Composed and worked by the British in 1880, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway immediately opened up north Bengal’s weak slope economy. Towns, tea domains, and private schools grew up around it.
Tourism blossomed. It also assumed an essential part of World War II, transporting warriors and supplies. In the 21st century, however, natural disasters, fast urbanization and development of street activity along the rail took a toll. The Gorkhaland Movement also constrained it close from 1988-89.
Subrato Nath, Executive Director (Heritage), Railway Board, told Mail Today, “It was the first UNESCO ‘Choice Document’ (1999) to choose it as a World Heritage Site, which incorporated the requirement for an ‘adjusted administration arrangement.’ It likewise ordered the production of a cushion zone along the length of the railroad and a nearby protection unit.”
Two global NGO’s like International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and The Industrial Committee for Conservation of Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) are helping UNESCO specialists on the trial.
Rohit Jigyasu, President of ICOMOS (India), said, “In spite of having such a rich railroad legacy. Like India’s Mountain Railways system, the Kalka, Nilgiri, Shimla and Darjeeling rail joined are engraved as UNESCO World Heritage. We don’t have any preservation rules for it. Consequently, this activity is vital.”
He included, “The arrangement will investigate everything about as the divider shade of the stations, seats, and even the old light posts. We will guarantee that the pioneer style uncommon engineering of DHR’s 11 stations are not irritated. A repair and upkeep manual for them will prepare. Same will do the steam trains, their wagons, and equipment. The craftsmanship of these will also archive.”
Various landslides, streak floods, and earthquakes have harmed the DHR railroad line over years. Operations amongst Siliguri and Kurseong briefly suspended after the Pagla Jhora Avalanche in 2010. “In the perspective of this, a complete debacle hazard administration arrangement will read,” said Rohit.
“Other than that, the social aspects that the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway offers must secured, subsequently the security arrangement will also have tight bindings on unapproved ghettos and violations,” he included.