Mumbai: Byculla railway station, one of the oldest and busiest suburban stations on the Central Railway line, is all set to get a makeover.
An NGO has secured permission from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) and the railway authorities to carry out the restoration work of the 166-year-old station, a railway official said on Thursday.
“Recently, ‘I Love Mumbai’, an NGO signed an MOU with the Mumbai division of the Central Railway for the heritage restoration and beautification work of Byculla station,” Sunil Udasi, chief spokesperson of the CR, said.
“The work will be carried out in consultation with renowned heritage conservationists. It will commence shortly and Mumbaikars will soon be able to see the crowning glory of Byculla afresh,” he added.
The NGO led by BJP leader Shaina NC would embark on the restoration work in association with conservation architect Abha Lambah. As part of the move, dumping yards near Byculla station would be converted into gardens.
Byculla was one of the original stations when the Bombay-Thane railway was inaugurated in April 1853. The construction of the present building of the station started in 1887 and completed in 1891.
“This historic railway station is in a dire need of restoration in a holistic manner. It has one of the most imposing facades in south Mumbai and is among the landmark stations in the area. Restoration work is needed for the main building and the front facade,” Shaina NC said. She said she wants to dedicate this restoration work to her father Nana Chudasama, who died recently.
“Different works, such as removal of insensitive ad hoc additions on the facade, its makeover, removal of paint from the stone facade, cleaning of stained masonry, restoration of damaged doors and windows, removal and upgradation of haphazard crisscrossing telephone and electrical wiring, are planned to be undertaken,” she said.
The Central Railway termed this initiative as part of the railways’ beautification and safety “mission”.
“Indian railways is in a mission mode, be it safety, security, cleanliness, station beautification, etc. Many NGOs, schools and colleges have come forward in support of this,” Udasi said.