The tag of World Heritage site bestowed by UNESCO on the 124-year-old Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) building has come in the way of plans to add more lines to the suburban railway network. The Central Railway (CR) has decided to scrap its plans of adding fifth and sixth lines on the CST-Kurla route. The two new lines will now only extend from Kurla to Parel, stopping well short of CST.
For more than three years, the railways have been making plans for the fifth and sixth Kurla-CST lines, a project estimated at Rs 659 crore. The project was part of a plan to upgrade CST into a world-class station, as announced by former railway minister Mamata Banerjee during her tenure. However, being a world heritage site means that no such construction work can be carried out.
Under the world-class station project, the railways were supposed to build hotels, commercial buildings and other structures.
“With all this coming up, it would have made sense to add platforms and trains up to CST. However, when this development is practically impossible, there is no point of adding two more lines,” said a CR official. The two lines would have segregated suburban trains from long distance trains all the way till CST.
“We are looking at permanently scrapping addition of fifth and sixth lines till CST,” confirmed Subodh Jain, General Manager, CR.
Parel station, which CR authorities plan to develop into a terminus, is being seen as an alternative to CST for the world-class station. A Rs 800 crore redevelopment project is on the cards, which would include new stations for long distance trains and increased connectivity to Dadar station.