Railways look to nail culprits

Jan 17, 2012, 07:30 IST | Shashank Rao

Day after MiD DAY story on workers hammering nails into pillars at CST, Central Railway orders inquiry

Day after MiD DAY story on workers hammering nails into pillars at CST, Central Railway orders inquiry

Sunday's Mumbai Marathon was a runaway success. But now railways have taken cognisance of the organisers allowing workers to drive nails into some pillars at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- that formed the backdrop for the event. MiD DAY had reported the matter yesterday (CST bears the brunt of city's long run).

In trouble: A worker seen driving a nail into a pillar of CST on Saturday
in preparation for the marathon

"The Mumbai division (of Central Railway) is conducting an inquiry and the matter will be followed up with the organisers," said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, Central Railway.

On January 14, MiD DAY had found workers, who were draping the pillars with blue-coloured cloth, hammering nails into the building in order to fasten the fabric.

Hit hard
But the fact is that there are many other violations that are consuming this piece of High Victorian Gothic architecture. Hawkers are usually found displaying and selling wares right outside the booking counters of the railway station.

Many of them have driven nails into the walls of this heritage building to hang the commodities.

"No one is bothered as they are ignorant about the value of this heritage monument. It would actually be difficult to stop people from vandalism unless authorities deploy special security personnel for the purpose," said Jagdeep Desai, an architect.

There are also instances of people pasting brochures and flyers -- right from political parties to a random offender -- on the exterior walls of the structure.

Many of these posters can be seen clinging to the building, half-torn, doing nothing to embellish the magnificence of the edifice.

"If these hawkers are sitting on railway land, then we ensure that they are removed. We are also coordinating with the municipal corporation for this," said A Vohra, senior divisional security commissioner (Mumbai), Railway Protection Force.

There is also a heritage museum adjacent to the place where the hawkers sell their goods. The offenders find CST lucrative as over 10 lakh people travel up and down from here every day.

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