Mumbai: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus' revamp plans come to grinding halt

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The BMC's best-laid plans also fail to get far beyond the kick-off point. After much pomp and show, it unveiled plans last September to beautify and restore the UNESCO heritage site, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), and surrounding areas, but after over six months of hemming and hawing, it has concluded that the plan cannot be executed in its current state.

The hitch: The plan hedged on shifting the 38 stalls and 39 hawkers on the premises, St George Hospital lane and behind the GPO to near Bombay Gymkhana, but it now appears to be a no-go.

A senior civic official from the BMC said, "The plan of shifting the stalls near Bombay Gymkhana has been put on hold by top civic officials as the land ownership is with the collector and they have alternative plans with it.

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After the collector informed us of the situation, we planned to find a different place to relocate them, but now that has been put on hold, too. Also, the relocation of 39 hawkers is pending due to a court case. Therefore, the stalls are likely to stay there, which means we will have to rethink the earlier plan."

On September 29, 2016, mid-day had reported how the revamp was intended to be completed by this September, but in the intervening time, the only progress has been the creation of the selfie gallery near the BMC building.

Initially, right outside the station, the civic body had planned to place a map of the A ward, with all its tourist spots, such as the Gateway of India, Kala Ghoda and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. Also, the transparent glass panel was to replace the existing one on the subway entrance and exit. It also intended to shift the stalls at top priority to pave way for a pedestrian friendly path from DN Road to St George Road.

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Assistant Municipal Commissioner of A ward, Kiran Dighavkar, also confirmed the development. "The initial plan of relocating the stalls has been cancelled. Now, we will have to look at another option," said Dighavkar. Another civic official added, "The idea is to provide the tourists with a 'royal feel' when they enter the heritage building through the Bhatia Baug garden. So, the area around 50-100 m of the building will still be revamped. We will now appoint cleaning staff for 24 hours in the vicinity."

Proposed changes

  • A map of A ward for prominent and tourist locations like Gateway of India, museum, Kala Ghoda
  • Bringing uniformity with the same colour railings, paver stone on the walkway within 50-100 metres of the premises
  • The FOB connecting Azad Maidan police station to CST to be redesigned with canopy
  • Removing the hoardings obstructing view of the heritage building 
  • Rare and old pictures of BMC, CST and other heritage structures to be displayed prominently outside station

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