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Central Railway headquarters to make way for rail museum at Mumbai’s iconic CSMT

The headquarters will move to P D’Mello Road

mumbai Updated: Dec 03, 2017 00:48 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,CSMT,Central Railway
CMST has been home to Central Railway since 1951. (HIndustan Times)

The Central Railway will soon move its headquarters from its iconic heritage building in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to P D’Mello Road. The structure, which was tagged as a Unesco world heritage site, will house a rail museum instead.

It is not clear when the CR headquarters will leave the building, but sources said it would happend before May.

Built by Frederick William Stevens in 1888, CSMT has been a popular tourist attraction. It had served as the headquarters of the erstwhile Great India Peninsula Railway from 1849 during the British rule, and the zonal railway since 1951.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal had on Monday inspected the CSMT building and directed the administration to convert it into a world-class transport museum. Three days after Goyal’s intervention, CR general manager DK Sharma wrote a letter to Ashwani Lohani, chairman of the Railway Board, informing him that they had designed a proposal for new headquarters and they would submit it for sanction in 2018-2019.

The railway is likely to kick start the museum project in May 2018 when the CR will celebrate the 130th anniversary.

The CR plans to rent 8,000 square meters of office space within 1-2km periphery of CSMT until the new building comes up at P D’Mello Road, according to Sharma’s letter.

An expression of interest (EOI) has been floated by the CR for the office space in south Mumbai.

“The discussion on conversion of the CSMT building into the rail museum is happening at the railways ministry level. We have started process to rent an office. Once a final decision is taken by the ministry, we will vacate the heritage building and shift to a rented office till a new building is built,”said a senior CR official.

In his letter, Sharma has also suggested that the project of converting the building into a museum should be done through the Railway Board’s executive director of heritage.

“ The work (of rail museum) is highly specialised in nature. The heritage directorate of the Railway Board may be asked to invite EOI (expression of interest) and thereafter getting the work sanctioned and executed based upon the report of the eminent experts,” states the letter.

First Published: Dec 03, 2017 00:48 IST