Children in Mysore have been deprived of the last remaining amusement at the Jawahar Bal Bhavan.

For, the toy train here has been relegated to the shed for over four weeks after its driver, a retired railway locomotive pilot, left the job. The toy train was the main attraction at the bhavan.

N.R. Vijay, Deputy Director, Department of Women and Child Development, who is also the secretary of the bhavan, told The Hindu that efforts were being made to employ a retired railway locomotive pilot to resume the operations.

Help sought

“We have sought the help of a senior officer in the Mysore division of South Western Railway (SWR) to find an operator for the toy train. Also, the association of retired railway locomotive pilots has been consulted. We are hopeful of resuming the toy train services soon,” he said.

Mr. Vijay said that only a qualified pilot can be appointed and accordingly the department has been searching for one.

The department was earlier paying Rs. 6,000 a month to the driver. The same salary will be offered to the new driver, he added.

The Deputy Director said, “If necessary, we are ready to reasonably hike the salary to bring the train on the track.”

There had been plans to develop the Bal Bhavan on the lines of ‘Wonderland’. Amusement games, indoor sports area, swimming pool, a large children’s play area, an auditorium and an area for organising creative events and other attractions had been proposed on the bhavan’s 11-acre plot belonging to the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA).

A detailed project report was prepared some time ago. The MUDA came forward to fund the project, but it has so far remained a non-starter.

Project revived

Mr. Vijay, however, claimed that the project has been revived and the MUDA was keen on releasing Rs. 5 crore to renovate the bhavan.

“Deputy Commissioner in-charge S. Palaiah conveyed this to me recently. The bhavan will be restored to its original magnificence,” he said.

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