THE CENTRAL RAILWAY (CR) offered a letter of acceptance to the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) foundation on Tuesday for receiving counselling in preserving the southern and eastern facades of the heritage building of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). The heritage expert organisation will give training to railway officials and sensitise them on the correct method of preserving the heritage building.
Previously, INTACH had helped the CR submit the report on the CST building to UNESCO, which classified it as one of the heritage buildings. In May 2016, CST was picked among the 10 iconic locations in the country that needed a revamp under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
“Demolishing the temporary structures blocking the view on the eastern side of the heritage building will be one of the major works to be done. Cleaning statues that have been marred due to pollution and stone replacement of the building will be other tasks,” said Vikas Dilawari, heritage conservationist who will aid INTACH in the process.
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Retaining the authentic flavour of heritage of the building will remain the aim while undertaking the restoration work. “A lack of training on proper preservation of a heritage building did spoil many of the attractions of the building,” said Dilawari.
“Some walls were coloured while many ancient railings were not taken care of in the process. Restoring such railing pipes, improving the natural wear and tear and promoting conservation awareness of the building will remain the major objectives,” added Dilawari. Two bus-stops of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) will also be removed in the process.
INTACH will submit a detailed report, identifying needed repairs in the given sections of the building, along with a bill of requirements to the CR within a month. The makeover project, which will take at least five years to complete, is funded with Rs 1 crore by the SBI foundation as part of its CSR.
“It is necessary that a heritage building like CST gets the required care and attention. By doing the necessary works, the southern and eastern facades of the building will become tourist-friendly. Officials from the Brihanmumai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have also extended their support in clearing out temporary structures near the building,” said D K Sharma, General Manager, CR.
The Central Railway also released two journals: Yesteryears GHATS and Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) detailing roles of the then railway workers and officials in construction of rail lines at Bhor and Thul ghats with a connection to the Mumbai rail network.