Unesco wait for repair of DHR stations

Sonada railway station
Siliguri: Two stations of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which were torched during the statehood movement in the hills last year, have not been repaired yet.
During the agitation, several properties of the DHR were damaged and even the Unesco, which declared the DHR as a heritage site, had expressed concern about the attack at these stations. Sonada station was torched by the agitators on July 8 and the Gayabari station was set on fire on July 13.
Toy Train services was also suspended in the hills for over three months because of the statehood movement.

Along with the stations, a floor of the Elysia Building - the headquarters of the DHR in Kurseong - was also ransacked.

"We are waiting for necessary recommendations from the Unesco. As the DHR is an Unsceo recognised heritage, we cannot take up the repair works on our own. The heritage structure has to be revived through renovation, without making any change in the look and other aspects," said M.K. Narzary, director of the DHR.
Sources in the DHR said in May this year that a delegation of the Unesco had visited Darjeeling and held a meeting with railway officials. "We have handed over the report on present status of the DHR to senior railway officials and also to the Unesco team. We had expected that we would get details of the restoration plan soon, but till date, no recommendation has reached us," said a railway official.
While the stations wait for renovation, Toy Train services between the hills and the plains has been affected this year because of landslides at Paglajhora, located between Siliguri and Kurseong. Since August 1, the services between New Jalpaiguri and Kurseong have come to a halt.
"Initially, it was planned that repairs would be carried out and the services would resume by August 10. But the manner in which boulders are rolling down, it seems the trcaks won't be repaired before this month. Also, repair work is getting affected. Only after boulders and debris are prevented from coming on the tracks, repairs and assessment can be carried out," said a source.
With such being the situation, stakeholders of tourism industry have expressed disappointment, while mentioning the upcoming Durga Puja season.

The Telegraph
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Two stations of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which were torched during the statehood movement in the hills last year, have not been repaired yet.

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