Maharashtra’s Ballarshah and Chandrapur railway stations have been adjudged joint winners in the Railways’ in-house station beautification contest, while Madhubani station in Bihar with its Mithila (Madhubani) art work done by local artists ranked second along with Madurai. Gandhidham railway station in Gujarat, Kota in Rajasthan and Secunderabad in Telangana were declared the third best in the ‘Beautification of Railway Stations with Local Artists’ competition. The first prize entails a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh, the second will get Rs 5 lakh while those of the third spot will receive Rs 3 lakh.
A total of 62 entries from 11 zonal railway offices were received, which were then reviewed by a committee consisting of the excutive director (station development), chief commercial manager (systems) of South Central Railway, executive director (tourism) and an official from the Northeast Frontier Railway. Last December, the Railways had requested zonal offices to send nominations for stations where beautification had been done with participation of local artists.
This competition was an add-on to the ministry’s annual competition on cleanliness. The Railways proposed this competition as an attempt to combine cleanliness with creativity. The Railways had said the aim was to beautify stations across the country with wall art and graffiti conveying messages of social importance.
The ministry had pointed out that beautification work carried out at Madhubani Station under Samastipur division of East Central Railway was a major success. Last year, over 140 artists from Madhubani village decorated over 7,000 sq.ft of station premises with Madhubani paintings, depicting mythological characters of the Ramayana.