The city’s first-ever railway museum will come at Nandi Halt station, a heritage structure part of the Yelahanka–Chickballapur line.
There are four heritage stations located on the line — Doddajala, Devanahalli, Avathihalli and Nandi Halt. The South Western Railway had roped in the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for renovation of these stations with a theme.
Renovation of Doddajala station has already been completed and work is underway at Devanahalli and Avathihalli and is expected to be completed in two months. At Nandi Halt station, along with the renovation, SWR has now proposed to construct a railway museum and railway park.
Kusuma Hairprasad, Additional Divisional Railway Manager, told The Hindu that tender for the museum and park will be floated within a few days. It will be the first museum of Bengaluru division. SWR has already developed a railway museum in Mysuru and Hubballi. “The Cantonment–Chickballapur line has historical significance as it was built during the British Era. At Nandi Halt, using the railway land we are building a museum.”
Ms Meera Iyer, convenor of INTACH told The Hindu that restoration of Doddajala, Devanahalli and Avathihalli is being funded by Mineral Enterprises Limited as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. “It is very heartening to see the Bengaluru based companies stepping up for restoration of the city’s heritage.”
The official said that apart from renovation and museum work, the SWR has also proposed to take up a groundwater rejuvenating project near the railway land where Dakshina Pinakini river flows. The river originates from Nandi Hills which is located around 2.5 km from the heritage station.
SWR has requested retired railway employees, public, institutions and NGO’s to share items of historic value or of significance pertaining to Railways such as books, reports, files, journals, photographs, slides, notes, sketches, pamphlets, documents, magazines, layout plans, tape recordings, audio/video cassettes, films, pictures, furniture, stamps, models, statues, newspaper clippings and other artifacts available with them. These articles will be displayed at art galleries at these heritage centers.
Interested people can contact Rakesh K. Prabhu, heritage secretary/Bengaluru division on 9731666400 or Shekhar S., heritage group member on 8197311836.