Mumbai: BEST canteen outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya to make way for museum view

Updated: 08 December, 2019 07:44 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

The BMC's heritage department wants the canteen outside the museum to shift by five metres to allow for a better view of 105-year-old structure

The canteen was built in 1987
The canteen was built in 1987

The popular Mumbai Darshan stopover—the BEST canteen outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya—will soon make way for a clearer view of the museum.  As part of its beautification plan for the MG Road stretch, the civic body's heritage department aims to improve the visibility of the 1914-built structure. The canteen, which has been a refreshment point for Mumbai Darshan tourists since 1987, will be shifted.

Joint municipal commissioner Ashutosh Salil said that currently, several structures including bus stops and the canteen were blocking a clear view of the museum. "We are planning to shift the BEST canteen to the corner. Currently, the canteen isn't visually appealing. We will re-design it to give it a heritage look and ensure that the museum facade is visible. We have discussed the issue with BEST and they are cooperating," he said. Officials from the heritage department said that apart from the canteen space, the structure includes a kitchen and a resting place for bus drivers. "The BEST will give us details of the areas they don't need so that we can reduce the size of the structure and shift it by five metres," said the official.

The CSMVS museum facade
The CSMVS museum facade

Conservation architect Pankaj Joshi is working on improving the canteen's look. "The plan is to rationalise the space that the canteen occupies. Some blocks are not being used and we'll figure out how far it can be shifted," he said adding that he is waiting for BEST to give their requirements. Apart from improving the footpaths, the project also involves regulating vendors, introducing signage, giving a uniform look to all the BEST bus stops and illuminating the area. Salil said, "A pilot stretch was taken up to get an idea of how things can work out. However, certain regulatory measures like illumination, marking spaces for vendors and signage can be done in other areas as well. "The stretch between Flora Fountain to Asiatic Library is being considered and work will begin there simultaneously." As part of easing pedestrian movement, Salil added that they have also started working on regulating street vendors.

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First Published: 08 December, 2019 07:19 IST

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