The Victorian-era Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai has been awarded as the Best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ in India by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, in collaboration with other ministries including Tourism, Culture, and Housing & Urban Affairs. The award was received by the Ministry of Railways along with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and suburban Central Railway at a ceremony held on 6th September 2019 during Swachh Mahotsav at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
For the top spot, the CSMT competed with 30 other iconic places from all over the country, selected in three phases under the Swachh Bharat Mission. These included Taj Mahal, Vaishno Devi, Tirupati Temple, Golden Temple, Ajmer Sharif, Manikarnika Ghat, Meenakshi Temple, Kamakhya Temple and Jagannath Puri. The key parameters considered to adjudge India’s Best Swachh Iconic Place included accomplishment of action plan, participation/involvement of stakeholders in the execution of action plans, funds leveraged, funds utilised, cleanliness in peripheral area, visibility of Swachh Iconic Place, sustainability of initiatives, and evidences of visibility of differences. The Indian Railways’ station was up to notch on all these parameters, thus grabbing the first position for the award amongst all.
In other news, CSMT has also been ranked as one of the World’s Most Amazing Railway Stations in a Wonderlist report. The list, which has names of railway stations from across the world that are more than just the purpose they serve and are also ‘architectural triumphs as well as historical relics’, was dominated by Grand Central Terminal in New York, followed by CSMT (Mumbai) and others. One of the busiest train stations in the world, CSMT is the only one on the list that has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to 1888, this railway station was built to commemorate 50 years of the crowning of Queen Victoria. It was designed by Fredrik William Stevens and showcases a blend of Victorian Gothic and traditional Mughal architecture. This spectacular 131-year-old terminal was earlier known as Victoria Terminus (VT) but was later renamed after the Maratha warrior.