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Heritage Railway Station Buildings to Get Make-over

In Important, Nation
February 27, 2021

With a view to renovating its station buildings to enhance their heritage value, the Bengaluru division of the South Western Railway (SWR) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a non-profit organisation.

The Railway officials signed the MoU with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACT) on Thursday, the SWR said in a press statement.

Four old station buildings on KSR Bengaluru- Chikkaballapur-Kolar railwayline, Devanahalli, Doddajala, Avathihalli and Nandi Halt would be restored and preserved, the SWR said in a statement.

Besides, the stations in Rajanukunte, Oorgaum, Champion and Chintamani are to be developed as heritage railway stations, the statement said.

“The MoU seeks to restore and preserve heritage railway stations at Doddajala, Devanahalli, Avathihalli and Nandi Halt based on different themes related to history and heritage,” it said.

According to SWR, these buildings are examples of colonial-style architecture located on picturesque stretches.

The metre-gauge line became operational in August 1915, it said.

The SWR said the works stipulated in MoU would be undertaken in two stages.

In the first stage, INTACH would undertake the renovation, restoration and preservation in consultation with the Railway and identify the partners under CSR for funding the initiative.

In the second stage, ways and means of sustainable maintenance of preserved and restored buildings would be developed by creating additional amenities at the stations and surroundings.

An art-cum-cultural conventional centre would be developed at Doddajala and an interpretation centre for monuments and history, caf or snack counter would be set up at Devanahalli.

A silk museum and resource centre, along with a park, with appropriate tree-planting and landscaping would be made at Avathihalli, a rail museum, caf, restaurant, cultural performance centre, pop-up weekend crafts markets, interpretation centre, open air theatre and amphitheatre would be provided at Nandi Halt Station, the SWR said.

This is the first initiative in SWR restoration projects are being taken up under corporate social responsibility (CSR), the SWR said.

SWR said it had in the past one year opened a rail museum at Hubballi, redeveloped Mysuru Railway and museum, among others.

It called upon companies or individuals to take up works in the railways under CSR.