Queen of Suburbs

Bandra Sub-Urban Railway Station, the “Queen of Suburbs” of Mumbai Poised for a big Facelift as an Efficient Transporation Hub and a Significant Heritage Landmark 
Indian Railways in Collaboration with Unesco Preparing a Comprehensive Management Plan for Bandra
Unesco Submits the First Report on Urban Design Strategy of Bandra Station
The Second and the Final Report Expected Next Month
The Move to Give a Boost to Preservation of Rich Heritage of Mumbai.

Indian Railways has initiated a comprehensive proposal in collaboration with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to revamp Mumbai’s Bandra Sub-Urban Station with a view to not only transform this station into an efficient transportation hub but also to reinforce its status as a heritage landmark. This would be in line with Bandra precinct’s highly cultural and cosmopolitan character.
Under an agreement between Indian Railways and UNESCO, a comprehensive management plan is being prepared for Bandra Station which is hailed as “queen of suburbs” of Mumbai.  A century old railway station, Bandra is home to some of the oldest religious shrines, Portuguese Fort, film studios, East Indian Christian Settlements, Anglo-Indian bakeries and art galleries. This station epitomizes and exemplifies the heritage and has been recognized as a Grade-I heritage property with an excellent blend of Victorian Gothic and the Vernacular style of architecture.
UNESCO has now submitted their first report focusing on Urban Design strategy with an Action Plan for improvements in circulating area of Bandra sub-urban Railway Station to Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. This 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 the 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 contains a series of steps to improve disabled-accessibility. 
The second and the final report by UNESCO for Bandra station focusing on conservation and management plan of the station building is expected next month. Western Railway (Headquarters Mumbai) has already chalked out the implementation plan.  The implementation of these reports will completely transform the experience of passengers and other visitors to this unique station and give a boost to preservation of rich heritage of Mumbai.
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu has been taking 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. Acknowledging the enthusiasm of the Railways, UNESCO took merely 3 months to come out with the report since an agreement to prepare the reports was signed between Shri Manu Goel, Executive Director, Railway Board and Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO, New Delhi on 26th June, 2015. Indian Railways is also the proud custodian of four world heritage sites – Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal (formerly Victoria Terminus), Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway and Kalka Shimla Railway.


Indian Railways Observes Vigilance Awareness Week – 26th to 31st October, 2015 
The observance of Vigilance Awareness Week, 2015 commenced ON 26TH October, 2015 all over Indian Railways with a Pledge taking ceremony by Officers and staff. A special function was organized in the Railway Board where Shri A.K. Mital, Chairman/Railway Board administered the Pledge to a gathering of Railway staff and officers. Similar functions have taken place at various Zonal Railway Headquarters and other important offices of Indian Railways where the Pledge was administered by the Heads of office. The Pledge is aimed to reinforce commitment of officials towards bringing about integrity and transparency in all spheres of their activities and to fight corruption with vigour.

During this Vigilance Awareness Week, various events are being organized around the theme of anti-corruption by the field units of the Railways. A film has been commissioned by the Ministry of Railways that focuses upon preventive vigilance in mass contact areas like ticketing, recruitment and contracts. This will be aired on Doordarshan at 16.30 hrs on 29th October, 2015. There is a special focus on sensitizing the youth this year and to achieve this objective, lectures, panel discussions, debates, discussions, plays, essay writing competitions etc. are being organized in around 200 schools and colleges by the Indian Railways. 

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