BENGALURU: Three halt railway stations under the Bengaluru Railway Division which are of heritage value could be restored to their days of pristine glory once approvals come though. The Doddajala, Avatihalli and Nandi Hills stations on the Bengaluru-Chikkaballapur light railway line – which was opened on August 1, 1915 – are over 105 years old and are set to get a face lift. The picturesque and exquisite stations are today in a state of neglect.
A senior railway official told TNIE, “The Bengaluru Railway Division is working on a proposal to restore the stations. There will be no demolition. They have enormous heritage value and were built over 100 years ago. We want to ensure they are preserved at all costs.”The Civil Engineering department is taking the lead in the venture. “The South Western Railway headquarters or the Railway Board needs to give us approval to go ahead. We will submit our proposal for the green signal,” the official said.
No one in the Railways had a clue about the history of the stations. “One train passes through the stations in the morning and another in the evening,” was all one official said. According to the Mysore Gazette, the Bengaluru-Chikkaballapur light railway line, sanctioned in 1909, was built as a PPP between the British government and the Southern Maratha Railway Company.
Karnataka Railway Vedike member Krishna Prasad said, “This rail line played a crucial role in connecting these areas to the city. The Mysore royal family, Sir M Visvesvaraya and Seshadri Iyer played a crucial role in setting up this narrow gauge line then. However, due to massive expansion of Bengaluru, this crucial connecting line and the stations lost their significance.”