Mumbai: Artisans from Rajasthan in city to help restore CSMT
Restoration of western facade (facing DN Road), southern facade, teak doors, beams almost done
As part of the phase-wise restoration of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), a team of artisans and workers from Rajasthan arrived in the city to work on the crucial roof, star-chamber and conference hall.
Speaking to mid-day, Central Railway chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said, "First initiated in 1997, currently the second phase of conservation work is under progress. The project has been divided into various sections. Restoration of the western façade (facing DN Road), southern façade, teak doors, beams and rafters is almost over and now the main part, which includes refurbishment of the roof, the central dome and the star-chamber, will be taken up in phases."
"The restoration is being done under the guidance of conservation architect Chetan Raikar. The building's central dome was carefully examined with the help of a radar gun that gives a sense of the real condition of the stone and whether there are any leakages. It gives an idea of how to proceed with the restoration. The scanning has been done and labourers have arrived from Rajasthan to fix the identified issues. Once this is done, the star-chamber and other rooms will be taken up one by one," an engineer monitoring the restoration work said.
"Since the CSMT is a Grade I Heritage building and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the team comprises skilled labour, stone craftsmen, engineers and site supervisors, who have experience of similar heritage restoration projects. Archival data, drawings and previous reports are also being considered," he added.
Other elements of the restoration work include cleaning of the vertical stone façade of the building. The stone masonry surface would be cleaned using high pressure water to remove algae growth.
"Structural repair work of the central dome was done years back. Two months back we started cleaning the dome from inside and repairing joints. Will try to complete work by year end," Sutar said.
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