Invoking Tagore’s name may have meant yet another way of reaching out to the voters in West Bengal by Union railway minister and Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee. But the Trinamul chief’s decision to set up a railway museum named after Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in Cooch Behar in her home state of West Bengal is giving the railways a mighty headache now.
To be built at a cost of nearly `7.5 crores, it now has no takers for setting it up now that the building is nearly ready, said railway sources. “Nobody is coming forward to set up this museum,” said a railway official. So the Railways is now busy hunting for someone who’ll be willing to put together the required artefacts and other items necessary to give the museum its shape, sources added.
Interestingly, this museum though given the nomenclature of “Rabindranath Tagore Rail Museum” will actually be displaying items connected with the railways and not memorabilia on Gurudev.
Perhaps it is Ms Banerjee’s zeal that the Railways do something for Tagore which has ensured that the railway museum in Cooch Behar, which falls under the Northeast Frontier Railway, be named after him.
Apart from this museum, the Railways is also busy trying to set up another museum on Gurudev in Bolpur, again in West Bengal. Announced by Ms Banerjee in her rail budget last year and to be called the Geetanjali Rail Museum, this again is expected to cost the Railways between `7 crores to `8 crores. Work on this museum is on “fast track” said railway sources and it is expected to be ready by August 2011.
A railway official wondered if the Railways should be getting into setting up such museums instead of concentrating on its primary task of running trains. Asian Age