New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) Minister of State for Railways R Velu today informed the Lok Sabha that the Railways has taken steps for the inclusion of the Shimla Toy Train into the World Heritage Site (WHS) list.
In a written reply, he said the Ministry submitted an application to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in January 2005, for the inscription of the Kalka-Shimla Railway (KSR) as a WHS, serial to ''Mountain Railways of India'' that includes Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway.
Since UNESCO considered only one site per country per year in 2006, KSR was not presented and India's other nomination was not successful. Similarly, KSR was not presented in 2007 and India's other nomination, The Red Fort, was inscribed as a WHS. A revised application in a new format applicable from 2007 was submitted to UNESCO in January 2007. This was being considered by UNESCO and a team from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) inspected the KSR in September this year.
He said a team from the ICOMOS, an organ of UNESCO for cultural heritage sites, inspected the KSR in September 2007. Based on their report and recommendations, further examination of the application would be done internally by ICOMOS and UNESCO and KSR could come up for consideration to be listed as a WHS in the next session of the UNESCO WHS committee in Canada in July, 2008.
He said technical problems faced in the operation and maintenance of the KSR were being attended to regularly. The inspection of track, bridges and tunnels were being done as per the schedule laid down and necessary maintenance work/renewal done regularly.
Moreover, as a direct result of widening and repairs of road formation located just above the rail alignment, the train services were affected from time to time.