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Mumbaiites can now visit centuries-old crucifix in Andheri through the year

Members of the East Indian community in Sahar village re-erected the cross that had been shifted from airport premises; it is now near Hyatt Regency

mumbai Updated: Jun 01, 2018 11:59 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Sahar village,crucific
Devotees offer prayers after re-erecting the crucifix near Hyatt Regency on Thursday. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT )

Members of the East Indian community in Sahar village on Thursday evening offered prayers and re-erected a centuries-old crucifix that was shifted from airport premises last year.

Earlier, devotees were given access to the cross, located outside Terminal 2 only once a year, in May, owing to security concerns.

However, the crucifix was shifted near Hyatt Regency last July to make space for the proposed Sahar Airport Metro station as part of the Colaba–Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 project.

After Thursday’s re-erection, devotees can now access the crucifix throughout the year.

“May is called the holy month of Rosary, so we decided to re-erect the cross today — on the last day of the month. Until last year, the cross was covered in debris. We didn’t want to hamper the development of the city, but also wanted our religious feelings to be taken care of,” said Nicholas Almeida, resident of Sahar village.

He added the cross was earlier called the ‘Cross of Plague’ because when the epidemic hit Mumbai in 1896, bodies were buried next to the cross and people would pray to rid the city of plague.

“We had raised the issue with airport authorities to clear the debris and make the holy
structure accessible to public, but to no avail. Finally, we asked them to give us an assurance that the cross won’t
be moved outside the locality and they agreed,” said Godfrey Pimenta, social activist.

GVK officials remained unavailable for comment. Also, an e-mail sent to them went unanswered.

First Published: Jun 01, 2018 11:40 IST