Indian Railways’ oldest living station, Mumbai’s Byculla has received UNESCO’s Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage Conservation award of merit for restoration work done in the last three years. The railway station commissioned in 1853 was recently renovated and restored to its almost original, Gothic, heritage architectural glory.
Non-governmental organisation I Love Mumbai, headed by Shaina NC, and The Bajaj Group Charitable Trust carried out the restoration work of the Central Line railway station of the Mumbai Suburban Railway station. Renowned heritage conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah did the project pro bono as part of their corporate social responsibility under the guidance of Central Railway officials.
The project was undertaken during the COVID-19 lockdown, when the architects made use of migrant labourers, who were stranded and present within the station precincts to complete the restoration, said Lambah. The architects peeled off all the cement and paint on the basalt stone facade of the buildings and restored to its original image. During the restoration process, the original signage bracket designs were discovered on site. The grill is now painted as per the historic paint scrapes found on site and stands of teak wood panelling forming a large ticketing window with a tinted glass fanlight.