Mumbai: Global recognition for Byculla, railway’s oldest station still in use | Mumbai news | So Good News


MUMBAI: Byculla, the oldest living station of Indian Railways has Gothic style architecturehave received UNESCO Asia-Pacific Culture heritage award for meritorious restoration work meticulously carried out over a period of three years.
The work was done by ‘I Love Mumbai’, an NGO headed by Shaina NC and with the assistance of The Bajaj Group Charitable Trust.
Conservation architect Abha Narain Lambha, who agreed to work pro-bono, said, “Unlike CSMT, Byculla is not on the tourist circuit of the city. The UNESCO recognition emphasized that conservation is not just for fancy buildings and recognized monuments. Apart from restoration, this helped the project also to provide livelihood to the workers, whom we kept inside the station premises for four months instead of sending them home during the covid-induced shutdown.”
Bhoomi pujan of the works was performed at the hands of then Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on 20 July 2019. The ceremonial inauguration of the renovated and restored railway station took place in April 2022.
Shaina said, “Restoration of Byculla railway station was done in memory of my late father Nana Chudasama. The work was done as per the guidelines given by the Heritage Conservation Board and restrictions laid down under the Conservation Act after due approval of the Heritage Conservation Committee.”
The exercise of facade restoration included cleaning of the basalt stone facade, restoration of original screens such as doors, windows, grills and gates. Restoration of the timber truss roof, Mangalore stone and smaller pitched roof along the facade was carried out. Ramps, steps etc were also made to make the station accessible to everyone.
She said, “The building overtime underwent various changes and additions along the facade such as blocking of archways and windows, addition of toilet blocks, blocking of porches etc. After restoration, the porches open into two ticket areas which have been restored and upgraded. The old ticket counter revealed a historic cast iron grill design that was restored back to original.
The grill was painted according to the original paint from scraps found on site. The new ticket window was also sensitively redesigned without causing damage to the historic building fabric, she added Signage, a very important component of the design, has been implanted using original sign bracket designs discovered on site during the restoration work.


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