Bitten by the heritage preservation bug, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal took to modifying the exterior of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station on his maiden visit to the city on Tuesday.
While setting foot into Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus - a heritage structure - his eyes landed on the logo of Central Railway on the facade of the building. He immediately requested officials present to remove it as, according to him, the logo was damaging the heritage beauty of the building. His order was followed within two days and the logo was removed yesterday.
Interestingly, the Central Railway (CR) authorities had installed the logo three years ago so that tourists could identify it as a CR station. According to CR authorities, the minister was in the station premises to attend a press conference.
“The moment he saw the logo, he asked us to remove it as it was damaging the beauty of the heritage structure. He also took a look inside the station, enquired about the cleanliness and maintenance, and was satisfied with the answers,” said a senior CR official, who was with the minister during the trip.
“The work of removing the logo started in the morning and was finished by afternoon,” informed another official. Bansal was in Mumbai for two days. Apart from inaugurating Virar-Dahanu local train, he also attended a programme at NCPA, visited the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus railway station, and attended the railway exhibition at Churchgate.
On Wednesday, the minister, who was staying in the railway guesthouse, visited the Churchgate station with his two bodyguards and interacted with passengers and checked the security. “The minister visited the city for the first time after taking charge of the ministry. We can take a measure of his sincerity towards the railways as he even noticed the small logo and initiated its removal,” added a senior WR official.
While coming back from the LTT station, he chose to commute in the local train. “He was sitting in the motormen’s coach and interacted with passengers. He also asked the motorman about his experience of driving the local,” the official added. When MiD DAY contacted CR spokesperson A K Singh, he confirmed the incident and said, “The Minister of railways gave the instructions to remove the logo and we acted on it immediately.”