Ziya H Rizvi
NewDelhi: After an almost six months shut down following pandemic threat, India’s landmark state of art Transport Heritage Museum that was thrown open to public last month may soon add a new history in its many similar collection, the Mumbai double decker bus.
The Museum has already approached BEST Undertaking to hand them one of the majestic double decker bus which it plans to phase out soon,. First introduced in 1937 similar to the one in London, Mumbai double decker bus also in red colour is being now finaly phased out after a chequered run.
A large sprawling history is embedded in these double decker buses Often a part of the Bollywood, the buses meandered its way even in the densely populated Bhindi bazaar area.
The Museum also houses once the pride of Indian transport system functional steam engine, tram cars and now double decker bus will add a new colour to the museum .
The Museum rated as one of the best transport Museum in the world and perhaps Asia’s biggest,is located at Manesar in Haryana some 50 kilometer from Delh. It was closed down due to the pandemic threat and the lock down announced by the government on February 24.
The Museum has opened with all safety protocols in place and standard operating procedures. As it is, the Museum always used to have a very high standard of hygiene and cleanliness to ensure the safety of visitors and the artifacts.
Spread on a sprawling 100,000 square feet built up area, social distancing was never a problem and its tier architecture leaves no room for any violation of safety norms, said Museum Managing Trustee Tarun Thakral
The museum is the second biggest one-man collection in India after the famous Salar Jung Museum of Hyderabad and both have made an international impact. From the prehistoric padukas to steam engine, from elephant howdahs to palanquin from bullock cart to ships, from automobiles to aeroplane, the range is sheer mind boggling.
Started as a childhood hobby which later became a passion, the Museum formally came into existence some seven years ago and has attracted millions of visitors every year both national and international tourists.
Recipient of several national and international awards the Museum also houses the only Indian tricolur that went upto the moon in the Apollo mission. Its steam engines are functional and one can hear the loud sounds reminding those who had travel in these locomotives of the bygone era.
Interestingly enough some of the latest edition includes a tram whuch once was the major way of transport in many metropolis in India during 1880 to 1960’s. But the lock down prevented many new features which may soon be on display
Tarun Thakral is confident that slowly the Museum will pick up its visitors as many have been eagerly awaiting its opening, many are looking for fun, and outing that is safe. “Yes the period has been bad for us not only financially but to manage and preserve the artifacts due to shortage of staff. But somehow the period did pass off peacefully”