Bandra Suburban Railway Station, the “Queen of Suburbs” of Mumbai poised for a big face-lift
Bandra: Railways has undertaken an action plan to revamp Bandra station as a heritage landmark in Mumbai in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Describing Bandra station as “queen of suburbs”, a senior Railway Ministry official said, “A comprehensive management plan is being worked out for the station under an agreement between Indian Railways and UNESCO.”
A concrete plan has been firmed up with a view to not only transform the Bandra station in Mumbai suburbs into an efficient transportation hub but also to reinforce its status as a heritage landmark, the official said.
UNESCO has submitted the initial report focusing on urban design strategy with an action plan for improvements in circulating area of Bandra station to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Prabhu has been taking a keen interest in the effort to redevelop Bandra station to provide enhanced facilities to customers while reinforcing the grandeur and magnificence of this landmark station building.
The UNESCO report proposes to develop a high quality and culturally relevant public realm, a diverse and vibrant space as well as a community asset. Priority will be given to pedestrians and universal access while creating an attractive and comfortable environment.
The main features of the UNESCO’s recommendations include realigning approaches and relieving congestion, streamlining the movement at entry/exit of station for effective access and transfer and public realm enhancements to reinforce civic significance.
The report also suggests a series of steps to improve accessibility for the disabled.
The UNESCO final report for Bandra station focusing on conservation and management plan of the station building is expected next month.
The implementation of these reports will transform the experience of passengers and other visitors to this unique station and give a boost to preservation of rich heritage of Mumbai.
The century-old railway station is home to some of the oldest religious shrines, Portuguese Fort, film studios, East Indian Christian Settlements, Anglo-Indian bakeries and art galleries among others.
The station has been recognised as a Grade-I heritage property with a blend of Victorian Gothic and Vernacular style of architecture.
Indian Railways is also the custodian of four world heritage sites Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal (formerly Victoria Terminus), Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway and Kalka Shimla Railway.