Shimla: Facing a challenge of maintaining cleanliness on the stations and tracks of World Heritge Kalka Shimla, Northern Railway is drafting a MOU to rope in a NGO to tackle this nuisance.
Northern Railway was working on the modality to draft a MOU, so that any NGO could involve local people to create awareness on keeping the site clean. Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Ambala Division P K Sanghi who was on one day state visit Said that MOU was to be signed soon and there is a plan to install dustbins inside each boggy and on railway platforms in the state.
Terming Shimla toy trains as making a hole in railways coffer, he said that it was built around more than a century back. Kalka-Shimla rail link attracts a large number of tourists , but Indian railways is having a hard time to make it profitable. Throughout the year five toy trains run on the this line apart from two extra in summer and winter season. Even as these trains go full in May and June, the line, which was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2008 is causing loss to Indian railways because of high maintenance cost of tracks, trains, tunnels, surrounded hills and less passenger capacity. P K Sanghi said, “It is a very difficult section with less economic feasibility. Cost is more and income is less, as the passenger traffic is seasonal, but maintenance has to be done all the time. The approximate annual earning from toy train service is Rs12 Crore, while the expenses are about Rs 30 crore. Time to time inspection and patroling of tunnels and surrounded areas is done especially in monsoon and windy season to avoid any kind of accident.” However, he said that the efforts are being made make it more popular among tourists and boost the revenue. “We are thinking to restart the public announcement service inside the trains besides introducing music and other facilities. Permission would also be sought for running the steam engine again, which is most popular among children.” he said.