Unable to raise enough money to buy land for their first fire temple in Navi Mumbai, Parsi-Zoroastrians have asked the government to extend the deadline for payment by a month.
By Manoj Nair | DNA India
The community has been allotted a plot in Koparkhairane by CIDCO, the local planning agency at a cost of Rs63 lakh. They have to pay the money by the end of October but have not been able to raise enough funds.
Shahrukh Doctor, a retired engineer who is president of the New Bombay Zoroastrian Association Charitable Trust, has said that they have managed to raise Rs54 lakh, but the final target looks elusive. “We will not be able to raise the money by the end of the month,” said Doctor.
Around 60 families with a total of around 250 members are registered with the trust, but Doctor estimates that many other Zoroastrian families living in Navi Mumbai are not listed with them. The nearest fire temple is at Thane or Dadar Parsi Colony.
Dinshaw Mehta, chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, the community’s apex representative body said, “In my living memory, there has been no instance of a new fire being consecrated. This fire needs to be tended by priests and needs regular prayers.
Looking at the way the community’s population is declining, there will be nobody to look after the fire. A fire temple is therefore not a good idea. A Dadgah (or a lower-grade place of worship) is a better as the fire there is not consecrated and therefore does not need a full-time priest.”