The National Green Tribunal had on 28 March directed the Darjeeling DM to ensure payment of Rs 20 Lakh each to families of three victims, who had died when a chunk of earth fell on them while illegally mining sand at Matigara, and Rs 5 Lakh to an injured, after deducting the amount already paid, within one month
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railways’ ‘Steam Jungle Tea Safari’ that runs between Siliguri Junction and Rongtong station has gained much popularity, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has said.
The NFR introduced the new service on the UNESCO World Heritage site, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), with a steam-hauled Toy Train on 30 August, with a view to meeting the demand from tourists and promote the local tourism sector.
“The ‘Steam Jungle Tea Safari’ Toy Train service has been planned to run on a regular basis depending on demand. It is provided with the facilities of a Vistadome coach and hauled by the heritage steam engine. The Toy Train travels through the scenic beauty of tea gardens, apart from the breathtaking views of the lower Himalayan hills. Tourists can enjoy the on-train services while making celebrations by riding through the unique ‘Steam Jungle Tea Safari.’ There are provisions of 14 passengers in the Vistadome coach.
However, additional coaches can also be attached depending on the demand,” the Chief Public Relations Officer of the NF Railway, Guneet Kaur, said in a statement today.
The train (No 52556) provides up-down evening services leaving from Siliguri junction at 14-45 hours to reach Rongtong at 16-20 hours. In its return journey, the train departs from Rongtong at 16-40 hours to reach Siliguri junction at 18-05 hours. The train has a stoppage at the Sukna station during both way journeys. Interested tourists can also make a visit to the museum at the Sukna station.
During the three-hour journey, tourists can enjoy the flavour of the world-famous Darjeeling tea. “Since the introduction of this Toy Train, NF Railway is getting good response from tourists. This unique ‘Steam Jungle Tea Safari’ is an ideal way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and get-togethers on a UNESCO World Heritage site. NF Railway is hopeful of attracting more and more tourists and promoting the tourism industry in the region in the coming days,” Ms Kaur said.