Mumbai’s Churchgate Station Renaming: Who is CD Deshmukh, and How a Railway Station’s Name is Changed?


Last Updated: February 28, 2023, 07:00 IST

Mumbai’s 153-year-old iconic Churchgate railway station will be renamed as Chintamanrao Deshmukh station. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

The Churchgate railway station, which is located in Mumbai’s southern suburbs and is part of the Western Railway zone, was established on January 10, 1870

Mumbai’s 153-year-old iconic Churchgate railway station is about to receive a name change, becoming the Chintamanrao Deshmukh station in honour of the former Union Finance Minister CD Deshmukh. Deshmukh was the first Indian governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The Churchgate railway station, which is located in Mumbai’s southern suburbs and is part of the Western Railway zone, was established on January 10, 1870.

Once Colaba Terminus closed down in 1930, the Churchgate station was transformed into a significant suburban terminus for the city of Mumbai. The ‘church’ in Churchgate derives from St. Thomas Cathedral, which can be seen from the station

Who is CD Deshmukh?

  1. Deshmukh was a renowned economist and public servant who significantly influenced India’s economic growth.
  2. He became the governor of the RBI in 1943 and led the central bank until 1949.
  3. His term in office saw the RBI establish a Research and Statistics department, demonetisation of bank notes of value Rs 500 and higher, changing of the central bank of Pakistan and Burma, and passing the Banking Companies Act of 1949.
  4. He would then go on to serve as the Union Minister of Finance for six years from 1950.
  5. He would also hold many other positions like the Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University and the chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

How is a railway station name changed?

The resolution to rename Churchgate Railway Station was taken at the first national executive meeting of the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. With this change, Churchgate Railway Station will become Mumbai’s third iconic station to be renamed. First, Victoria Terminal was renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), and then Elphinstone Road Station was renamed Prabhadevi Station.

While the ownership of railway stations lies with the Indian Railways, which is under the central government, their renaming is a matter to be proposed by the state government. Renaming involves a great deal of back and forth with the Centre for the complex procedures and their approval.

The state government must first make sure there isn’t already a station in the county with the newly suggested name. It also would be necessary to obtain No Objection Certificates from the Department of Posts and Survey of India, Ministry of Railways, and Ministry of Home Affairs, which is the nodal ministry for the name change.

Upon approval of the name change, the next steps would be to create a new “station code” and update the ticketing system with the new name. The physical alterations to the signage posted around the station’s premises and in all official communications would be the last and most significant change.

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