"There are popular areas like Worli, Prabhadevi and Parel in the vicinity. I don't know why the station has been called Elphinstone Road for so many years," said Ganesh Waingankar, a Worli resident. Ramchandra Bhonde, another resident, said, "We should name the station after goddess Prabhadevi or even Siddhivinayak whom the area is known for."
The NCP has supported the demand. Ramesh Parab, local NCP leader, said, "We have changed Victoria Terminus to Chhatrapati Shivaji. Why can't we honour the sentiments of Worli residents?"
According to a book Anchoring a City Line by Sharada Dwivedi and Rahul Mehrotra, the station was named after John, Lord Elphinstone who was the governor of Bombay from 1853 to 1860. It reads, "The city's progress in the 1850s and 60s was due to the acumen of this Governor."
Parab said the renaming was justified. "Lord Elphinstone was a visionary and he has done a lot for Mumbai. But how long can we have a station named in his honour?" he said. "The temple of Prabhadevi is more than 350 years old. It is an important religious place."
WR chief spokesman Sharat Chandrayan said: "Decisions on changing the names of stations are taken by the railway ministry." He added that a proposal to rename Grant Road as August Kranti is pending.
"We have sent letters to the rail minister and our leader Sharad Pawar, who has promised that he will get the name changed," Parab said.
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