Representatives from the Central Railway and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — the two agencies responsible for the makeover of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the area surrounding it — have reached New Delhi, where they will present their plan at Vigyan Bhawan over the next two days as part of the IndoSAN conference.
This is part of an initiative under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, wherein the Union government has picked 10 iconic locations — including CST — for upgrade.
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With the help of consultants, including art director Nikhil Desai, and an organisation working for heritage conservation, INTACH, the A ward office has drawn up a plan to restore the heritage area categorised under 50 metres, 100 metres and 500 metres around the CST building.
The plan includes several measures to ensure that the bridges and pavements in the area are consistent with heritage norms. Besides providing a uniform look to the pavements, streetlights and railings, the BMC will also set up single rod bus stops to retain the historic character of the area. Hawkers will be shifted to another spot and advertisement boards on bus stops or on pillars will be removed.
In their report, INTACH has said that the foot over bridge near the BMC building is of an inappropriate design and colour. “The bridge is not covered and it can pose a problem to pedestrians, especially during rainy days. In order to make it pedestrian and tourist-friendly, we will change the colour of the bridge to black or grey and will add an artistic canopy above it,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of A ward.
To smoothen traffic movement, the plan suggests that a pedestrian pathway be created through Bhatia Wagh. “We will open up Bhatia Wagh for pedestrians and tourists. We are also planning to construct a subway to ensure that pedestrians don’t disrupt traffic movement while crossing the road,” said Dighavkar.
In place of the existing BEST bus stop, the BMC is planning to install a replica of a double decker BEST bus that will have a mini art gallery with pictures of heritage buildings in the area. The BMC is also planning to install a map of the heritage structures in the area with QR codes of the structures to help tourists navigate the area.
The CR had raised a point that the tall trees in Bhatia Wagh and along the CST building were reducing the visibility of the southern facade of the structure. The BMC has trimmed the trees around the building and is planning to trim or replant the trees in Bhatia Wagh as well to improve the view.