Mumbai: During excavation for the installation of electric bus charging stations at the BEST Colaba bus depot earlier this week, workers stumbled upon a piece of Mumbai’s transportation history. A corroded iron track and a cement concrete structure, possibly part of a repairing bay, resurfaced when pits were being dug, officials said.
According to an official, Colaba bus depot was once used as a car shed for trams. The concrete structure consists of a wall on one side and two lines of pillars on the other, resembling a repairing bay for trams or buses, he said.
Similar discovery was made in 2016
Unfortunately, as the construction contractor was unaware of the significance of these remains, most of the concrete pillars were removed by the JCB excavator.
This isn’t the first time such discoveries have been made during road repair or infrastructure projects in south Mumbai. In 2016, parallel tram tracks were uncovered during road concreting near Hutatma Chowk-Flora Fountain, underscoring the city’s rich transportation heritage.
Mumbai’s trams made their debut in 1874, during the British colonial era; they were initially drawn by horses before transitioning to electric engines in 1907. The tram service eventually ceased operations in 1964.
As the city’s public transport system continues to evolve, BEST, currently operating approximately 400 electric buses out of its fleet of around 3,000, is making strides in the electrification of its services.