CHENNAI: In what is known as the ‘Gandhi spectacle’ and as part of the celebration of the Father of Nation’s 150th birth anniversary, the Southern Railway has begun pasting stickers of the Tricolour and Swachh Bharat logo on the train coaches.
Stickers of the Tricolour flag and Swachh Bharat logo have been pasted on the exteriors of about 200 electrical multiple unit (EMU) coaches maintained at the Tamabaram and Avadi car sheds in the last few days. “Apart from EMU coaches, all conventional ICF, LHB, Uday and Shatabdi coaches will sport Tricolour flag stickers. The exercise would continue till it covers all coaches,” A K Kathpal, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer, Southern Railway, told Express.
According to official records, 6,603 express coaches are maintained by the Chennai, Salem, Madurai, Tiruchy, Palakkad and Thiruvananthpuram divisions of the Southern Railway. “Stickers are being pasted on mainline coaches housed at the Basin Bridge coaching terminal and at the Gopalsamy Nagar yard in Chetpet. So far, 6,134 coaches have been covered”, added Kathpal.
The decision to display the Tricolour stickers on train coaches was taken by the national transporter after the Union government decided to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi for two years.
Official sources said that national flag stickers would be displayed permanently and the changes had been proposed in coach maintenance manual.
“In September 2016, national flags were pasted on both sides of locomotives and the exercise has been made permanent. Similarly, maintenance and coach production manuals have been altered to make these changes permanent,” explained a senior official.
As part of the celebrations, the Southern Railway is also planning to draw murals containing quotes from Gandhi at the railway premises. Tambaram car shed holds 1350 emu coaches, while 324 coaches are maintained at Velachery. Totally, 368 coaches undergo maintenance at Avadi car shed.