Facing the heat, Churchgate to partially shed glass facade

Installed at a cost of Rs 4.8 crore, the facade will now be partly dismantled for Rs 5 lakh

In a bid to make the iconic Churchgate railway station building a bit swankier, the Western Railway (WR) had covered the building with a glass facade at a whopping cost of Rs 4.8 crore, way back in 2011.

The glass facade has created acute ventilation problems for Western Railway employees, as it was placed right in front of the windows. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
The glass facade has created acute ventilation problems for Western Railway employees, as it was placed right in front of the windows. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Four years later, the authorities will be partly removing the glass panes at a cost of Rs 5 lakh, for which work will begin soon. Presently, WR has already placed protective nets on the southern end of the building, right opposite the WR headquarters, a Grade-I heritage building.

Protective nets have been thrown around the southern face of the building
Protective nets have been thrown around the southern face of the building

There is a yellow colour crane in place, suspended with rope, which is meant to take the workers to all floors of this seven-storey building. Officials claim they have called for tenders, and a contractor would be appointed to remove the facade.

Humid house
currently 16,145 square feet of glass covers the building on all four sides of the structure. The design of the building is such that there are straight and slanted glass panes, ostensibly meant for ventilation.

However, these panels didn’t allow air to enter. This issue has been hanging fire for a few years now. mid-day was the first to report on this issue, on June 9, 2012 (‘Facing heat from employees, churchgate to lose glass facade’).

The railway employees working inside the building had told the administration that due to the facade, ventilation had become poor, and there was insufficient sunlight percolating into the structure. Sources said that around 50-60 glass panes would be removed for providing additional ventilation.

Huge blowers costing around Rs 10 lakh each will be fitted at these spaces. This facade was also supposed to assist centralised air conditioning in the building that was constructed in 1956.

Apart from the heat that was making WR employees sweat it out inside the glass house, staff were complaining that the glass facade also led to people throwing garbage out of the windows.

The Rs 4.8-crore plan included covering the building with reflective tinted glass, false ceiling with illumination for the main concourse, levelling of platforms and new roofs over the platforms.

Railway speak

Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, Western Railway
Tenders have been called and these (glass panels) would be removed at a cost of Rs 5 lakh.

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2 Comments

  • kranti18-Jul-2015

    our administration is an expert at wasting public funds

  • Gautam Kadam19-Jul-2015

    What may be good in Europe or the U.S., may not be suitable in India as the climatic conditions differ. Idiots !

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