Nearly one-and-a- half years after the proposal for converting the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) into a ‘world class station’ was mooted, the railway board has finally given an in-principle approval to renovate it.
As per the plan, Central Railway (CR) will make renovations without touching the UNESCO World Heritage building. CR held a meeting on November 10 at New Delhi with railway board officials where the approval for the plan was given.
A French consultant has already been roped in to draw a blueprint of the project.
“We have proposed to shift the maintenance yard for local trains, situated next to the station, further to Wadi Bunder yard. This will free around 7 acre land which can be used for further improvement of the suburban train services,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to speak to the media.
Kul Bhushan, general manager, CR said, “The CST world class station plan is on track. We are conducting regular meetings with the railway board.”
CR officials are looking at changing the alignment of the curved tracks at CST. They will be made straighter. Presently, because of the curvature, the trains have a speed restriction of around 20 kmph while leaving CST station.
By straightening out the tracks CR hopes to reduce the headway (time duration between two trains) from 4 minutes to three minutes at CST.
There are plans to have a three star restaurant and commercial shops on the concourse. Poly thermal roofs will be placed above the lane leading to the station, used by taxis and other vehicles. “This project will be implemented on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis and we are looking at commercial development outside the station,” said an official.
Even subways are in the offing outside the station on the road leading to GPO building.
“This is being planned in order to meet the demand from other transportation projects in the future. These subways will benefit commuters to directly catch a metro train after leaving CST station, without walking on the main road,” added another CR official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.