UNESCO seeks report on Darjeeling toy train after it finds heritage site ‘ill maintained’

NEW DELHI: UNESCO has asked the Indian Railways to submit a report by next February on the state of conservation of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways after the UN body found the trains and tracks of the world heritage site were suffering from “insufficient maintenance”.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in a report, submitted in its 43rd session held in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, on June 30, said many of the station buildings which are identified as major attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) have “lost original fabric and seriously deteriorated” since the inscription of the property on the World Heritage list in 1999 and its subsequent extensions in 2004 and 2008.

“In most cases, this is due to ill-advised “modernization” efforts compounded by lack of maintenance. The buildings of Sonada and Gayabari stations, which were damaged during riots in 2017, have not been restored,” it said. (AGENCIES)