Move to build a museum at Mumbai's Shivaji terminus jeopardises UNESCO status.
[T]he 129-year-old Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai now faces the threat of losing its UNESCO World Heritage tag.
After railway minister Piyush Goyal 'desired' to convert the building into a rail museum, Central Railway has moved a proposal seeking to vacate the CSMT building and subsequently sought for a new zonal headquarter building. Railway officials and heritage experts told Mail Today that any alteration with the usage or structure of the building might jeopardise the world heritage tag, as per the UNESCO norms.
A senior official of the Railways' heritage wing cited the precedence when UNESCO had put the famous ruins of Hampi in the list of 'world heritage sites in danger'.
The warning had come after the government began construction of a bridge near the protected monuments to connect Hampi and Anegundi, considered the 'cradle of the Vijayanagar Empire'. UNESCO officials maintained that the construction would cause major damage to the monuments and the natural landscape. However, after years of persuasion, the UNESCO gave its nod to complete the bridge with directions to take up several corrective measures.
"A proposal has been moved before the railway board to convert the building into a rail museum. It is in the initial stage and it is yet to be decided whether the entire building or a part of it will be used for the purpose," a top Central Railway official said.
He also confirmed that a proposal for the new zonal headquarters at P D'Mello Road in Mumbai has been sent to the railway ministry which is estimated to cost Rs 100 crore. Railway ministry officials, however, said that the world heritage status would be kept in mind while proceeding with the matter.