Shiv Sena leaders, after a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, announced Monday that the names of Elphinstone Road station and Charni Road station on the Western Railway would soon be formally changed to Prabhadevi and Girgaum respectively.
Transport Minister Diwakar Raote met Singh Monday with a request to expedite the renaming process. Speaking to The Indian Express after the meeting, Raote said though it had taken him 20 years to implement the move, it would be done.
“I have been working on changing the names of the stations since I was the mayor of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) between 1991 and 1992. Names like Elphinstone Road, Charni Road were framed by the British during their rule in the city and it is high time we removed them. When I was the mayor, I changed the names of the roads too, so changing the names of stations must not be ignored,” Raote said.
Shiv Sena MPs Arvind Sawant and Srirang Barne accompanied Raote during the meeting with the Union home minister.
The demand had been to change the names of Elphinstone Road station to Prabhadevi, Charni Road station to Girgaum and also to add ‘Maharaj’ to the names of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
“No reason should be demanded as to why the names of the stations must be changed. This is our country and our land, and names of the stations must be as per the culture of our country. Singh has confirmed to us that the names will be changed as soon as possible,” Raote said.
Last week, Sawant had made a demand in the Lok Sabha of renaming of five suburban railway stations, including Mumbai Central, that have colonial names. In December 2016, the state assembly had passed a resolution asking the central government to rename Elphinstone Road station and add ‘Maharaj’ to the names of CST and the Mumbai airport.
“The Home Minister has given us his assent on changing the name of the station at the earliest. He also said the government would consider changing the name of Charni Road station at the earliest,” Sawant said.
“We have been assured that the names of the stations will be changed within two months. While the process is almost complete, only certain formalities are left. We are awaiting the day of celebration,” Raote added.