The renaming of railway stations are in trend in the recent past, and the latest to be renamed is Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road station. The station which serves slow line Western Suburban local trains has been renamed Prabhadevi station from July 19. It was almost an year ago when the central government had embraced the proposal to rename the said railway station to Prabhdevi. Prabhadevi is the native deity and is worshipped by many around the railway station. The Elphinstone Road station was named after Lord Elphinstone in reportedly 1853.
The station has been in news several times, the most recent one being the Foot-over-Bridge (FOB) stampede where almost 29 lost their lives on Sep 29, 2017. The stampede followed by a rumour that the FOB has collapsed created a chaos among the commuters present on the FOB, led to the tragic deaths of the victims. The bridge was then announced to be broaden to ease the passing of the commuters through the passage. The widened bridge was then opened for general commuters on July 3, the day when a portion of Gokhale Bridge in Andheri collapsed.
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Talking about the renaming of the railway stations, we have seen Victoria Terminus changing to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in 1996, to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus off-lately. The name of the station now known as ‘Ram Mandir’ on western line from November 2016, was earlier proposed to be ‘Oshiwara’. Similarly, proposals have been sent to rename Dadar railway station to Chaityabhoomi, Grant Road to Gaondevi, Currey Road to Lalbaugh, Sandhurst Road to Dongri, Reay Road to Ghodapdeo, Cotton Green station to Kalachowki and Mumbai Central to Nana Chowk.
If these railway stations in Mumbai are changed to what they are proposed to be, we will initially face a difficulty in remembering the changed names. The name of the city itself was changed from a British name ‘Bombay’ to a native Marathi name ‘Mumbai’ in 1995 when Shiv Sena came into power and controlled the state assembly in coalition.