This Article is From Aug 22, 2015

CST Won't Become a World-Class Station Any Time Soon

CST Won't Become a World-Class Station Any Time Soon

The Railway Board intends to conduct a fresh study before it can go ahead with the makeover plans of the 128-year-old British-era station.

Mumbai: Despite nearly ten years having passed since the Indian Railways decided to transform the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station into a world-class station, the authorities never put the plan into action, and have now decided to put it on hold instead.

Sources said it was unlikely that the project would begin any time soon, since the Railway Board intends to conduct a fresh study of the proposal before it can go ahead. The railways had, in fact, roped in French consultants Arep, nearly four years ago to study the plans to revamp the 128-year-old British-era station.

Prepared at a cost of Rs 11 crore, Arep's report outlined the possible impact of the Rs 1,800-crore project on the UNESCO heritage building and also made recommendations on how to minimise this impact. However, railway officials said the authorities were not satisfied with this report and wanted to commission another one.

Grand plans
The plans not only included a revamp of services and facilities at the terminus, but also included the development of a commercial hub in neighbouring areas or buffer zones extending to Wadi Bunder and P D'Mello Road in the east, Metro Cinema in the west and the CST bus depot in the south.

In this area, the railways have vacant chunks of land amassing to 32.6 hectares, including heritage buildings, yard and platforms. It is this vacant land that is proposed to be utilised for the project.

The land will be divided into three buffer zones - the innermost zone 1 will be refashioned into a pedestrian zone; buffer zone 2 will not have any high-rise building so as to not obstruct the view of CST from a distance, and zone 3 will have skyscrapers with hotels, offices, shopping complexes, etc.

As per the proposal, there will also be an underground subway that will come up on the east side of the station, leading to the GPO and then connecting to the proposed underground Metro corridor passing through DN Road on the west. Commuters will be able to alight at CST and take an elevator going 20 feet underground to connect with the Metro station and vice versa.