Railway station area gets vital attention Railway station area gets vital attention Station area to be developed

2015-08-26 06:00
PHOTO: file

The municipality is to ‘take back’ the railway station and the area surrounding it to ensure that the memory of Mahatma Ghandi is kept alive, and to develop the area to its full potential.

PHOTO: file The municipality is to ‘take back’ the railway station and the area surrounding it to ensure that the memory of Mahatma Ghandi is kept alive, and to develop the area to its full potential.

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MAINTAINING the heritage­ of the city is a priority for Msunduzi Municipality.

Keeping in line with this, the municipality has “taken back” the railway station and its surrounding area not only to ensure that the memory of Mahatma Ghandi is kept alive, but to develop the area to its full potential.

Following a site visit earlier this year, inspectors found there were numerous unauthorised activities taking place in the Pine Street block.

Numerous boarding houses, liquor and bottle stores, abandoned workshops, an informal taxi rank, parking lot for meter taxis and a motor workshop and scrap yard are operational in the area.

One of the problems with clearing activities there is that PMB still works off an outdated zoning scheme which needs to be revised and areas­ in and around Pietermaritzburg rezoned for specific use which in turn will limit any unauthorised activities.

Illegal occupants in the area will be evacuated from the Pine Street block to make way for the revitalisation of the railway station area.

“There is a general state of decay in the area. In recent years the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station area has experienced rapid decline in terms of physical appearance and economic viability, subject to insufficient integrated planning with insufficient urban management,” read the report.

The area under the spotlight is upper Church Street, Havelock and Baverstock­ roads. The aim is to seek and identify opportunities that will broaden the economic base and contribute to the revitalisation of the railway station area.

The report stated that the municipality’s aim is to bring people back to the station and give them a reason to visit. “[There is a] need to create a city living environment that will re-establish the precinct as a residential area with a variety of accommodation alternatives … create job opportunities to make best use of the infrastructure and facilities available … re-establish the urban environment so that it becomes a pleasant experience and friendly living neighbourhood,” read the report. In 1893 Gandhi was thrown off the train at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station, which began his movement of non-violence and peace among all who lived in South Africa.

Msunduzi mayor, Chris Ndela said that it was important to protect the historical significance of the area as it is a major part of Pietermaritzburg’s history.

“We should move mountains to ensure the appearance is perfect,” he said

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