BMC, BEST in talks to display 100-year-old tram

MUMBAI: In a bid to bring back a slice of the city‘s history, the is in talks with BEST authorities to allow them to restore a nearly 100-year-old currently lying at a bus depot in the city, and put it up for public viewing at a civic gardens in south Mumbai. The tram was operational between 1874 and 1907 in Calcutta, an official stated.

Civic officials say the plan is to restore the tram at the corporation‘s cost and display it at the Bhatia Baug garden located next to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).

BMC assistant municipal commissioner (A ward) Kiran Dighavkar said the idea has been communicated to BEST. “The area around Bhatia Baug is frequented by tourists, and a tram as such would attract attention. We are keen on restoring the tram and barricading the area, accordingly to ensure that many can enjoy a view of it from a distance,” he said. Once BEST gives its nod, a proposal will be sent to the civic chief.

Besides the BMC would also need to seek the permission of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC).

A senior official from BEST management said that if there is a proposal from BMC, they will assist in setting up a tram at the proposed site. “The existing tram kept at Anik bus depot is in very bad condition as what was left was a rusted frame of the tram,” the official said.

Trams last ran in 1964. Former BEST general manger Manmohan Singh had brought this tram, kept at Anik depot, from Kolkata in 1993. The condition of the tram deteriorated over the years as it was kept in the open. A miniature of the same tram is kept on display at the BEST museum at Anik depot.
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