The bland and barren coaches of passenger trains may soon have exciting images of tigers, cranes, trees and other wildlife painted on them.
The Indian Railway is actively considering a proposal of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to paint coaches and stations with the images of wildlife to spread awareness about conservation and promote tourism through pictorial representation.
“We are considering a WWF-India proposal of having pictorial representation of natural habitats and wildlife on certain trains and stations to create awareness about the need for conservation and protection of forest, tiger, birds other species,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
As per the plan, tiger will be the main theme of the campaign apart from birds such as crane. There will also be trees, bushes, waterbodies to showcase greenery and jungle life.
To begin with, railway stations at Sawai Madhopur and Bharatpur and coaches of Nizamuddin-Kota Jan Shatabdi Express will have paintings of wildlife and forest.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu already had a discussion with tiger conservationist Valmik Thapar for taking forward the message of conservation through pictorial representation at Sawai Madhopur and Bharatpur railway stations and on some selected passenger trains.
WWF-India will set up a project design team which will work out details with the railway officials. The project may be later extended to trains linking wildlife sanctuaries.
The design team will visit the two railway stations shortly to get a first hand idea of the sites and potential for pictorial depictions.
The pictorial representation of wildlife and forest will also serve to promote sanctuaries as tourist destinations.
“Paintings on trains and stations will serve dual purpose – nature conservation as well as tourism promotion,” the official said.
Paintings will be done by local artists and WWF-India will provide technical and necessary financial support to the artists and designers involved in the exercise.
Describing the move as “innovative”, railway officials said, “Our endeavour is to carry forward the message of environment conservation through innovative paintings of wildlife such as tiger, bear, birds, crane along with trees, bushes and water bodies on trains and stations.”
The project can be extended to other stations and trains after the Rajasthan experiment depending upon its successful execution, sources said.