More than 20 religious structures in the city have been razed last week. But the remaining 709 structures, which had received demolition notices from the municipal corporation, are safe for the next 15 days.
The municipal corporation has issued notices to all ward officers asking them to not raze any religious structures for the next 15 days.
This means that even the Haathibaug cross at Byculla, which was razed last week and then restored by locals on Sunday, is safe for now.
Following a Supreme Court directive, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had started bulldozing religious structures that hinder traffic or road development work after issuing notices to 729 such structures in the city.
“The restoration [of the cross] was done without civic permission and we have informed the senior officials about this on Monday, but have not received a reply yet,” said the senior civic officer from E ward, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“The Haathibaug cross existed since 1936. So, as per the law, it falls under the tolerable religious place category and should not have been demolished. Besides, it was at one end of the wall and was not impeding traffic or any roadwork,” claimed Joseph Dias from the General Secretary Catholic Secular Forum.
Moreover, all assistant municipal commissioners have received notices from the BMC headquarters to give the local residents or trust concerned 15 days’ time to submit the relevant documents about the religious structures.