No need for new road to Mount Mary Church: residents

  • Chetna Yerunkar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2015 18:02 IST

Residents of Bandra and conservationists are up in arms against the civic body’s plan to construct a public road over the steps off Mount Mary Church, one of Bandra’s landmark heritage structures.

According to the proposed development plan (DP), the road will go over an ancient cross. Residents have also taken up cudgels against the proposal to widen roads in the area.

Calling it lack of planning, heritage experts said it was clear that the civic body had not studied the site.

David Cardoz, member of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee, said, “The Bandra fair is conducted near the steps of the church. How can the officials sit in their office and plan the development of an area by satellite mapping? I fail to understand why the DP has proposed a road when there is one that directly leads to the church.”

Father Aniceto Pereira from Mount Mary Church said they would oppose the DP, “It has no relevance and will, in fact, disturb the heritage structure. Also, the proposal to widen the main road will affect the main entrance of the church,” he said.

Residents of Union Park at Khar (West) have come out strongly against the proposal to widen roads in the area. For instance, the compound of Deccan Society has been marked for road widening, but no road exists there.

Not only will the proposed widening eat into residential property, members of the society fear it may result in commercial activities in the area.

The DP has also proposed a road between two buildings at road number 3 at Union Park, which will cut across the two compounds.

“How can the BMC plan road widening at places where no road exists. The Deccan Road, which has residential buildings on both sides, is proposed to have a 60ft wide road. It isn’t possible to do this without taking over private compounds,” said Bharati Kakkad, secretary, Union Park Residents Association.

Despite several attempts, officials from the DP department were not available for comment.

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