Mumbai Parsis to meet Uddhav Thackeray for help

Members of the city-based Parsi community will meet Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray over the Metro-3 project’s alignment that passes below three of its fire temples in south Mumbai.

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According to the community, the metro work will allegedly disturb the ‘holy fire’ and ‘wells’ in such temples. The community has also started an online signature petition on the issue and has managed to get about 9,000 signatures till now.

“We have written a letter explaining how the alignment will affect the sanctity of our centuries old temple.

The online signature petition will end on Sunday. Once all signatures are attached, we are going to submit it to Mr Thackeray and request him to intervene in the matter,” said Mr Pervez Cooper, vice-president of Clean Heritage Colaba Residents Association (CHCRA).  The temples which are coming along the alignment include the Wadiaji Atash Behram and Anjuman Atash Behram on Jagannath Sunkersett Road and the Dadysett Agiary at Hutatma Chowk.  

“Tunnelling for Metro 3 is not directly below the well. In fact, it is more than 15m away in hard rock and at more than 18m depth from the nearest point of the well. Tunnelling in this area will be done by TBM following globally practiced safe tunnelling methods. All due precautions shall be taken during tunnel construction to safeguard the structure of the well and water in it.  The MMRC has already communicated the details and precautions to be taken,”said a MMRC spokesperson.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    It is about time these Parsis and other protest groups come to grips with reality. The metro is happening. The design stage has long been completed and construction has started. It is too late to change the alignment at this stage. Besides, the tunnel boring machines can only operate in a straight line from junction to junction. They cannot take frequent detours to avoid old buildings and heritage structures. Too much money has already been invested in this project to make major changes now. And you can be sure the Japanese will suspend funding if that happens.

    Apart from the technical aspects, in my opinion, it is a mistake to approach the Shiv Sena to seek intervention. Udhhav Thackeray will happily use this petition as a stick to beat the BJP with and we Parsis will get embroiled in the political battle. Parsis have wisely stayed out of politics thus far; and it is a bad idea to allow ourselves to be used as a punching bag.