A mini toy train at Dr Rajkumar Park in Hanumathnagar which remained non-functional just months after it was inaugurated in 2007, has started chugging after a report appeared in City Express about the lack of maintenance by the concerned authorities.
City Express had reported the park’s condition in its August 14 issue this year and in a month, the train is chugging again.
When City Express visited the park to enquire about the present situation, elated reactions came across. “We are delighted with the mini toy train taking on to its wheels once again,” says Elizabeth, a resident.
Voicing a similar opinion, Mary, another resident says, “The strength of crowd that visits this park is quite good. Hence, it is definitely a welcome move by the authorities.”
The tickets are priced at Rs 10 per person. Manjunath, who sits in the ticket counter says, “Everyday 150-200 people have been taking the ride in the toy train. The functioning of the train has given me a job, as I was unemployed before this.”
When City Express contacted the corporator of the ward, K Chandrashekar, he blamed the ‘lackadaisical’ attitude of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the contractor concerned for the time taken for the train to resume its role. He said, “The train is my baby. Since I was defeated in the elections, a lot of things went wrong. During that period, the train became non-functional and the BBMP took three years to call for a tenders. But the conditions attached with the tender did not attract any one. They called the tenders for the fourth time and one contractor came forward and they accepted all the conditions.”
He added further, “To our bad luck, the contractor never started the work. In fact, they sent a letter stating that the track was not in a good condition. By then, I had won the election and then I wrote letters to the Commissioner and struggled hard to make things work in the favour of the train.The contractor was even served with a notice, seven times. We got the fitness certificate from the Railways and all other certificates that were required. There was also a manhole which was cleared within 48 hours. However, the coverage by the City Express on August 14 hastened the work and I am happy that the train has started working and the people are enjoying it.”
An amount of Rs 1.25 lakh has been released to the contractor to look into all the aspects of the train including appointment of seven people for the maintenance of the train and ensuring safety and security of the children.