Five years after it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Railways have begun the next stage of the restoration of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to its old glory.
All extensions and alterations to the main heritage building, including two multi-storey buildings that house railway offices, are set to be demolished, under the plan to turn CST into a world-class railway station.
The attached buildings are at the rear of CST, facing the outstation terminus, and were built about a decade ago. UNESCO guidelines say the main heritage building cannot be modified or touched by any other structure.
The Railways will soon begin the process of shifting offices and staff from those buildings and extensions to nearby buildings. These structures will then be brought down.
AREP, an engineering and architectural design agency controlled by France’s state-owned rail operator SNCF, will conduct an architectural and feasibility study for the redesign and redevelopment of the terminus on public-private partnership mode, a senior railway ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Railway officials said AREP will be paid about Rs 10 crore by the Railways for carrying out the study and suggesting a new overall design for the station premises.
Phase one of the restoration, under way for two years now, includes replicating and reinstating all Art Deco arches and damaged artifacts.
Phase two has been merged with the overall station plan, which includes redevelopment of the entire station complex, not just the heritage structure.
The redevelopment plan aims at a substantial transformation, including facilities like underground parking, food plazas and separate terminals for arrivals and departures.