AS many as 600 railway employees working on the ground and first floors of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) heritage building may have to vacate their offices by April to make way for a world class transport museum.
The heritage building that houses more than 100 offices of different technical and personnel departments, is set to be converted to a museum. Offices on the second floor, including the Central Railway general manager’s office, will not be vacated in phase I. The railways have floated tenders to select agencies to develop the museum.
“On Tuesday, we held a meeting with 13 interested stakeholders who participated in the tender process and shared plans to develop the building into a museum. We will finalise the consultant in the coming three weeks. Once we are satisfied with their plans, we will begin moving the offices,” a senior railway official said.
Officials said they have begun identifying alternative spaces for the offices. While they could be shifted to offices located near platform 6, some offices may be shifted to the Chief Commercial Manager’s (CCM) building
near platform 1.
“Eventually, a new building will be constructed to accommodate these offices. By the end of 2018, a part of the museum will be constructed in the building,” the railway official added. The Railway Board has sanctioned Rs.25 crore for converting the building to a museum.
The Central Railway Majdoor Sangh (CRMS) has opposed the idea. “We have staged multiple protests in the past against the idea. By converting the building into a museum, interest of employees will be affected. We believe maintenance of the building will also suffer due to the museum plan,” said P Bhatnagar, president of the workers’ union.