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Mumbai church claims BMC redeveloping private road without consent

mumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2018 23:57 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times

The private road leading to Fatima Church Cemetery. (Shashi S Kashyap/HT)

Officials of a church at Vidyavihar have complained about the municipal corporation’s work on a private road leading to the adjacent cemetery. Officials alleged that the work is being carried out without their permission.

Our Lady of Fatima Church, which is managed by priests from Capuchin Friars Minor (Bom.) Society, a Roman Catholic order, said the property belongs to the church.

“We are not against redevelopment. If the road is being made better for the convenience of devotees and those staying around, we would be more than happy. But Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started construction without following the procedure, which is why we have written to them,” said Fr Philip Gonsavles, president, Capuchin Friars Minor (Bom.) Society.

Gonsavles added there was no formal communication from the civic body the work started last week. The church received a letter on March 24, intimating that the work order for the road was given to a contractor following which Gonsavles wrote to the deputy chief engineer (Roads) raising his objection to the project.

“We do not know under what provisions the work is being done. Also, we have not been informed what would the status of ownership be after the work is completed, which is why we have expressed concern” Gonsavles said.

The 100-metre by-lane leadingto the cemetery is not metalled and is used by three housing societies to access their main gates. The narrow lane also acts as a parking area for the residents of these buildings and autorickshaws.

N-ward officials said although the road belonged to a private entity, it was categorised under 63 (K) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC ) Act. Such roads are defined as smaller roads owned by individual entities, leading to a street, used by the public.

“It is our responsibility to maintain the road, which is why we redevelop such roads regularly and provide amenities such as street lights. In this case, the ownership won’t change after the work is completed,” said a ward official.

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 23:57 IST