Piyush Goyal: Will consider proposal to name Mumbai Central to Sunkershet station

Sep 29, 2018, 10:20 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

Railway minister says he may consider a proposal to name Mumbai Central station after the Indian Railway pioneer, if it comes from the Maharashtra government

Piyush Goyal: Will consider proposal to name Mumbai Central to Sunkershet station
The mock plaque by Jagannath Sunkershet fans, calling for renaming the station after him

Union railway minister Piyush Goyal has assured local MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha on Friday, that he will consider a proposal to rename Mumbai Central station after Indian Railway pioneer Jagannath Sunkershet (popularly called Nana), if it comes to him from the Maharashtra government.

Lodha told mid-day that he will get such a proposal in the next 10 days. "I have already spoken to Maharashtra transport minister Diwakar Raote, who has supported this initiative and shown keen interest. The proposal should come soon," Lodha said.

Willing to consider proposal
"When I met Goyal this morning, he said he was willing to consider it, if any such proposal came from the Maharashtra government," he added. Surendra Sunkershet, a descendent of Nana, welcomed the decision, but said that no one had conveyed this to their family officially yet. "This will probably also involve the nod of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis," he said.

Jagannath Sunkershet's face can be seen on the facade of the iconic world heritage site of Mumbai CSMT. The Sunkershet family visits it every year in July to observe his death anniversary.

Fans want Mumbai Central
The family had been trying to get an iconic city station named after him, but since Mumbai CSMT and Kurla Terminus had already been renamed after Shivaji Maharaj and Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak respectively, Nana's supporters wanted to get Mumbai Central named after him, as his bungalow was also in Girgaum, close to this station.
In fact, on the Indian Railways' anniversary this year in April 2018, Nana's fans had paraded a mock plaque, calling for the renaming of the station.

Man behind Indian railways
Jagannath Sunkershet, popularly known as Nana, was one of the two Indian founders of the railways in the country. He was also one of the two Indian directors of India's first railway, the other was Sir Jamshetjee Jeejeebhoy; and had travelled as a special guest on the first train. Born on February 10, 1803, in the wealthy Murkute family of the Daivadnya community, he wanted to see the all-round development of Mumbai. His initiatives led to the setting up of the JJ School of Art, the city museum and the Victoria Gardens. Visualising the importance of bulk transportation in future, Sunkershet formed a steam navigation company and proposed the railways. In fact, he had given part of his bungalow to open the ticket booking offices of the GIP Railway.

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