UNION RAILWAY Minister Suresh Prabhu will lay the foundation of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to be built at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSTM) this week. The minister will be visiting the city to address a function, organised to announce the change in name of the railway station, with the addition of ‘Maharaj’ in CST.
After a meeting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in April last year, Prabhu had announced remodelling of CSTM station. Aimed at boosting tourism, the plan is to depict seven forts of the Maratha kingdom — Raigad, Panhala, Sinhagad, Shivneri, Rajgad, Bhuikot and Janjira — with an equestrian statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji on top.
According to senior railway officials, Prabhu will officially announce the commencement of work on Saturday. “He will lay the foundation of the statue this week. The function will mark the official inauguration of the project, which will take at least a year to complete,” said Anil Saxena, director general (Public Relations), Railway Board. The estimated cost of the statue and the design is pegged at Rs 1.5 crore, said an official, adding that it is not yet clear whether the railways or the state government will fund the project.
“Conceptualisation of the statue and related works have been awarded to J J School of Architecture in Mumbai. They will help us decide the details,” said Saxena. During the function, Prabhu is also expected to announce the change in the name of Elphinstone Road station to Prabhadevi. Few more amenities, including an escalator at Kurla station, will also be inaugurated the same day.