MUMBAI: Over a year after the Centre issued a notification in May 2017 to rename Elphinstone Road suburban railway station as Prabhadevi station, the Western Railway (WR) will finally carry out the name change on Wednesday midnight. The new name will be effective from Thursday. The name change was scheduled to be done on September 29 last year but was postponed due to the stampede at the Parel-Elphinstone Road foot overbridge that took 22 lives.
The demand of changing the names of seven stations, including Elphinstone Road, have been made to the Centre by various organisations and parties, including the BJP and Shiv Sena. Responding to requests, the WR has changed the name of Elphinstone Road to Prabhadevi, the name of a Hindu goddess whose temple is near the station. A senior officer of WR, requesting anonymity, said, “The name of Elphistone was scheduled to be changed on September 29, 2017.”
A senior railway official said: “Railway minister Piyush Goyal was expected to announce the name change of Elphistone but a tragedy took place at Elphistone Road. Hence, all the events had been cancelled.”
22 people were killed and 39 were injured in the stampede at Elphinstone railway station on September 29.
Sources claimed that the railways minister wanted to organise a programme for the announcement of the name change of Prabhadevi but Shiv Sena leaders also wanted to take credit for the same and they want to be invited for the event. But the BJP does not want to give them credit. Therefore, it was decided to change the name without an event.
BJP chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “The decision is correct but it should have been taken much earlier. However, the decision would now restore the original identity of the area.”
According to a press note of WR, “It has been decided to change the name of Elphinstone Road station to Prabhadevi station on Mumbai suburban section of Western Railway.
This change will be effective from 24.00 hrs of midnight of 18th July 2018 i.e. 19th July 2018 Necessary changes are being made on station boards, indicators, and public announcement system for the benefit of passengers. The station code for Prabhadevi will be PBHD. Passengers are requested to make note of this change in name of station.”