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CR to give city another Marine Drive?

By Aroosa Ahmed
PUBLISHED ON DEC 02, 2019 12:10 AM IST

In a move that could give the city another Marine Drive or Nariman Point, the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation Limited (IRSDCL) of the railway ministry plans to develop the central railway’s 17.5-acre plot at Haji Bunder in south Mumbai and commercialise it later.

Currently, the railway land at Haji Bunder is being used as scrap depot, where CR auctions scrap from its land across the city.

The plan was discussed by railway board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav and SK Lohia, managing director and chief executive officer, ISRSDCL, during the inspection of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) on Saturday.

Lohia assured Yadav that he would visit Haji Bunder in the coming days and devise a complete plan.

The money that the Indian Railways will generate after commercialising the land will be used to fund railway projects for Mumbai. “We are coming up with ways to boost the revenue. The development of Haji Bunder will not just help in revenue generation, but will also provide citizens and tourists a new place to unwind with their families,” said a senior railway board official.

Lohia, however, refused to divulge the details.

Yadav, during his visit to CSMT on Saturday, asked the railway authorities to bring in investors for development of CSMT, which would pave the way for redevelopment of CSMT yard.

“Public land is expensive in Mumbai. If the railways plan to use it creatively for urban development, it is a good move. The railways can shift the scrap yard at Haji Bunder outside the city limits,” said urban planner Sulakshana Mahajan.

Earlier, CR and the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), which own major land parcels in Haji Bunder and Wadala, were in discussions to swap the plots. MbPT had asked the railways to give the Haji Bunder land, in exchange for their land in Wadala.

The railways had planned to use the land obtained from the port trust to create space to accommodate local trains operating on the harbour line.

MbPT had earlier released a draft proposal that included building a 93-hectare park by reclaiming land near Haji Bunder and a 52-hectare central garden abutting it.

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