TIRUCHY: Many city residents would be surprised to know there is a 104-year-old iron water tank in Tiruchy railway station. Many may not have even noticed this tank near the parcel office. Sources said Railways was using the tank till 2017 but decided to abandon it after it started leaking.
According to available information, the tank was constructed in 1916. There is an inscription (SIR, NGT, 1916) on the tank. Sources said the British had increased the capacity of the tank sometime in 1920 as it decided to shift the then South Indian Railway (SIR) headquarters from Nagapattinam to Tiruchy.
Sources in the Engineering section said the tank with a capacity of 2.32 lakh litres was used to supply water to the station and nearby staff quarters.
“There is no point in repairing the tank. We are now using a concrete tank to store and supply water. We are also regularly cleaning all existing tanks. Even if we try to use the iron tank again, it would be a waste of money as it requires a lot of maintenance,” an employee said.
Though Railways would not gain monetarily from repairing such tanks, these are structures that reflect the engineering marvels of the British era. Apart from this tank, this station also has one of the oldest elevators in the country. The old parcel lift on Platform No.1 was constructed in 1896. These historic treasures are being neglected with not much being done in the way of conservation.
Some train passengers believe Railways should protect these structures.
“There may be reasons for not using them but they can at least conserve these structures. They should also display such interesting facts about the station at its entrance,” said S Murali, a passenger.
Southern Railway has a bad track record in the conservation of several British-era relics in Tiruchy. For instance, the transporter has abandoned several British-era buildings and structures in Ponmalai. With Railways currently showing some interest in heritage conservation, passengers said Tiruchy railway division should take efforts to conserve these structures. “Measures should be taken to identify such structures in Tiruchy and stations. They should also display information about such structures on their website,” said Geetha Krishnan, a passenger.