The Indian Railways is celebrating the completion of 169 years in a very unique way. The 134-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) will come alive this Sunday. Several artists will come together to present different emotions through live music and dance in a first-of-its-kind event called ‘Navarasangam’. However, for this event to be showcased, the Central Railway authorities have sought permission from Traffic Police to close down road traffic for a few hours on Sunday late evening in and around CSMT.
The Indian Railways began its journey from Mumbai on April 16, 1853, and would now be entering its 170th year. And so this unique light and sound cum performance show is scheduled for this weekend at CSMT. The show would be depicting the history of Indian Railways through the eyes of this Victorian Gothic edifice standing tall since 1888.
The CR officials said that they are trying to represent the various emotions of the nine Rasas of ‘Natyashastra’. “The programme would be presented through dance, drama, music, poetry and vocal renditions bringing out the different emotions based on various historical episodes of the history of CSMT building, Railways and the country,” said Shivaji Sutar, Chief PRO, Central Railway.
The one hour show called “Navarasangam – ek gatha CSMT ki”, will showcase Indian culture canvased by 70 artists. The original audio track has also been created by a team of artists working for Central Railway. Over the past couple of days now, rehearsals are undergoing at night along with lighting and sound. The artists would be performing under the aegis of the Central Railway Cultural Academy.
For this show, LED-based themed lighting systems will be used. The technology of LED fittings has more than a million combinations of lights that will be used to illuminate the station building. The CSMT building will be lit up with around 1100 lights of which the brightness of over 450 lights had decreased due to ageing. “We have replaced all these 450 lights with new technology LED ones,” said another CR official.
Considering the attractive and immersive light and sound, the Central Railway authorities expect a considerable crowd to watch this show. Sources said that they will be closing the CSMT building main gate and limited entry will be given; however, they are worried about the people trying to watch this show standing on the road and footpath.
Senior CR officials said that they have informed the local authorities and police about the same so that there isn't a problem with vehicular traffic outside CSMT. This show is expected to start at 8.30-9 pm on Sunday. The dignitaries coming for the event include top officials from Railway Ministry, around 20-25 artists have been invited including musicians, classical dancers, conservationists, architects and other people.
History of CR:
- In 1900, the Indian Midland Railway Company was merged with Great Indian Peninsula Railway the predecessor of Central Railway and its frontiers were extended from Delhi in the North, Kanpur and Allahabad in the North-east and Nagpur in the East to Raichur in the South-east.
- Route mileage of the G.I.P. Railway was 2575 kms
- In November 1951, Central Railway was formed by integrating Nizam State, Scindia State and Dholpur State Railways.
- At present, there are 5 divisions on Central Railway i.e. Mumbai, Bhusaval, Nagpur, Solapur and Pune and its rail network is spread over 4183 route kms in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.