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Heritage square to modern infra: CSMT revamp plan

By Aroosa Ahmed, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON NOV 27, 2019 12:17 AM IST

The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) has proposed developing the premises of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), which is a UNESCO world heritage site. ISRDC’s proposal includes the construction of a heritage square, upgraded passenger amenities and remodelling the CSMT yard. If approved, the plan would be executed by a public-private partnership (PPP) model. A preliminary meeting was held on Tuesday between ISRDC executives and senior officials of Central Railway (CR).

“We will examine the proposal for CSMT terminus. The proposal involves existing yard remodelling and operations of trains,” said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relation officer, CR. The proposal needs to be approved first by CR and then ministry of Railways.

The development plan has separate areas for outstation and local train passengers that are connected by decks. An elevated deck, accessible to passengers using the P D’Mello entrance to CSMT, will connect platforms eight and 18. An additional holding area for passengers will be made at the P D’Mello entrance. ISRDC also plans to set up commercial spaces near the main and the P D’Mello entrances, where restaurants and cafés will be located.

Also in the plans is an underpass for which the reservation office and other premises adjacent to the divisional railway manager’s (DRM) office will need to be dismantled. ISRDC has proposed a multi-storey heritage square that will offer tourists a view of the CSMT’s Victorian Gothic Revival architecture and dome.

There are also plans to develop the CSMT railway yard and extend suburban railway platforms to accommodate trains with 15 compartments. Outstation train platforms will be extended so that they can accommodate trains with 26 coaches. A new route relay interlocking (RRI) building that coordinates the movement of the trains has been proposed next to platform number 18.

“The plan appears to be feasible. The remodelling of CSMT yard along with dismantling of railway buildings needs to be inspected. Shifting the cab parking towards the P D’Mello side should also be studied,” said a senior CR officer. CR officials said the plan is similar to a proposal submitted in 2010, which could not be implemented because the proposed buildings flouted existing height restrictions.

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