Railways does not know to play to the gallery

Railways does not know to play to the gallery

Railways does not know to play to the gallery

The South Western Railway seems to be squandering a good opportunity to properly showcase colourful paintings and artefacts in its possession, for the benefit of visitors to the City Railway Station, which houses not one but three galleries. 

The galleries are superficial in spirit and the department is not serious about their maintenance.

Visitors trickle into these galleries, but Anil Kumar Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, says they have no plans to give the galleries a makeover or conduct activities to attract visitors.

He said that the possibility of creating similar galleries at other railway stations is less as the stations lack space. A tour of the City Railway Station reveals the shoddy upkeep of the galleries.  

Colourful paintings on various railway themes lie uncared for at the Rail Art Gallery and visitors hardly care to walk in. The gallery, which can be reached from platform numbers five and six, has 22 paintings. It was inaugurated on March 31, 2012. The art works have been done by more than 10 artists. It is kept open from 9 am to 5 pm. The caretaker at the gallery does nothing more than asking visitors to fill in their details like their names, contact numbers, addresses and remarks in a diary. “Since the day of its inauguration, the number of visitors has been just 10 to 15 a day. Only on a few occasions, there are 20. The paintings should be changed at regular intervals. Till date, old paintings have been replaced by new ones only twice,” she said. 

The number of visitors is small, despite close to 1.5 lakh people coming to the station every day. The tale is no different at Rail Cartoon Gallery in the station. It houses a number of bone-tickling caricatures, but it has been kept locked for some time now as it is feared that the door, which has suffered damages, may give way any time. The staff have brought this matter to the notice of higher authorities, but there is no move yet to get the door repaired. 

“We had called in artists to draw the cartoons and do the paintings on the spot,” an official said.

The Rail Gallery on platform one showcases antique railway tickets, models of steam engines and iconic stations among others. A few curious visitors enter the gallery occasionally. The latter two galleries were also opened in 2012. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox