Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Railways to get new logo only for CWG

The Indian Railways seems to operate on the old dictum of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix. Even the mercurial railway minister Mamata Banerjee could not prevail upon the department to change its 60-year-old logo to suit her whims.

It was after soliciting designs from over 1,400 advertising consultants that the Mumbai-based advertising firm—Palm Advertising—was awarded the contract for the new logo that will have a limited run of less than two weeks—the duration of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi.

“The railway board has cleared the new logo to be used only during the Commonwealth Games as it is the lead partner for the mega sporing event,” a ministry official said. “However, replacing the old logo with the new one as a permanent measure was objected to,” he added. It may be noted that the railway minister Mamata Banerjee had said she would preside over a new look to the railways, marking a departure from the reign of her predecessor Lalu Prasad. The railways will pay Rs 5 lakh to the ad agency for designing the new logo. “Tickets for special Games trains will also bear the new logo,” said an official.

The new logo has a railway track around a steam engine with the government of India emboss in the centre as against stars representing zonal railways in the existing logo. Ironically, while the logo itself came at a bargain basement price of Rs 5 lakh, the railways was still trying to wrap its head around the cost of repainting the logo on its about 11,000 daily passenger trains. Not to mention other spaces like stations where the logo would have to be displayed.

The Centre’s austerity drive, therefore, seems to have come at an opportune time for the Indian railways, which is already waking up from the feel-good era of surpluses.

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