BMC's DP threat to heritage structures in Mumbai

  • Vaishnavi Vasudevan and Chetna Yerunkar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2015 16:22 IST

Apart from the ecologically sensitive mangroves and salt pans, Mumbai’s draft development plan (DP) could also affect heritage structures, including Bandra’s famous Mount Mary church.

The city’s heritage committee raised alarm bells saying several such structures are at risk of being lost to reckless redevelopment.

The panel fears more than 1,000 of the 1,577 heritage structures in the city have either not been marked in the DP or will be affected because of the proposed activities. The panel is studying these maps to find out the exact number of structures that may be impacted by the DP.

Take Mount Mary Church in Bandra (West) for instance. Under the draft DP, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed to construct a public road over the steps off the church basilica, where the popular annual Bandra fair is conducted. According to the plan, this road will also go over an ancient cross that stands on these steps. Locals are up in arms against these plans already.

Mumbai heritage conservation committee chairman V Ranganathan told HT the panel will be submitting objections to the plans soon. “We fear that if these structures are not reflected in the DP, they may be knocked down for development.”

Heritage conservationists said structures such as the David Sassoon building, Radio Club, PWD buildings and several precincts have not been marked in the draft plan.

“Many structures mentioned in the heritage list released in 1995 and 2012 are completely missing from the DP,” said a member of the committee.

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