Noted architect Hafeez Contractor has offered to design free of charge 19 stations across the country, including several in Mumbai, as part of a redevelopment project being rolled out by the Railways. Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC), the nodal agency for redeveloping 600 railway stations, said Contractor was among four who had offered to design railway stations free of cost. Among the stations Contractor has offered to redesign are Dadar, Parel, Wadala, Bandra and Khar in Mumbai. “We had an open invitation for professionals to work pro-bono for developing concepts and master plans for redevelopment of stations. Hafeez Contractor has shown an interest in 19 stations,” Lohia said. He said the corporation had received such offers from another noted architect and two firms. ?However, we have not finalised any of the designs yet. It is at a preliminary stage,” he said. Contractor, who recently had discussions with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, told PTI that the pro-bono offer was his way of “helping my country”. “The very reason that we (he and his firm) are doing it for free is to show them (the government) what can be done,” the Padma Bhushan awardee said. He said the country suffers when a “lousy job” is done.
“Normally, what happens is that all government jobs are given to those who quote the lowest tenders, who then do a lousy job. That way both the government and the country suffer. This is my way of helping the country and to tell them what standards have to be to be met,” said Contractor, known for his eclectic style and iconic buildings. Read More