Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Science Express train to visit Coimbatore on August 20

The Science Express – Bio-Diversity Special (SEBS) is finally coming to Coimbatore on August 20 and will be halting at Coimbatore Junction till August 23.

In the recent times, only two thematic expo trains visited Coimbatore, one was the Red Ribbon Express (to generate awareness relating to AIDS) and the second was Mother Theresa Express.


Coimbatore never found a place in the schedule of Swami Vivekananda Express and after repeated representations by the Ramakrishna Mission it was routed via Coimbatore with a halt for two days on July 21 and 22 in 2012.

Last year, when the schedule of SEBS was announced, Coimbatore was missing in the route map in the fifth phase of its journey. Coimbatore Struggle Committee fighting for improvements in rail infrastructure for Coimbatore region, took up the issue with Railway Board, Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

Sixth phase

After all such efforts, now in the sixth phase, Coimbatore has been included in the tour.

Coimbatore region has the Nilgiris Bio Sphere Reserve (NBR) and it also hosts institutes such like Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Tamil Nadu Forest Academy – which is celebrating its centenary year, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON).

These institutions have a significant role in forestry and bio-diversity related studies and research.

Interestingly, only recently, western ghats that runs through this part of the country was declared a World Heritage Sight and now the train which has a special pavilion for Nilgiris Bio-Sphere Reserve is visiting Coimbatore.

The exhibition also showcases aspects of climate change, water, energy conservation, environment and the legacy of the Science Express.

The expo-on-wheels, a collaborative initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests is an innovative and unique mobile exhibition mounted on a specially-designed 16-coach AC train travelling across India. The train gains significance as the decade 2011-2020 has been declared by the United Nations as the “Decade on Biodiversity” and by the United Nations as the “Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification”.


The exhibition aims to showcase the wide array of biodiversity in the country and the conservation measures adopted. The exhibition is open for all.

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