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Parsis in Mumbai oppose plan to build public toilet near fire temple

Say they received notice issued to build the temple, at Marine Lines, after the date for filing objections to the project expired

mumbai Updated: Jun 17, 2018 00:49 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,parsis,parsi
The Brihanmumbai municipal corporation said if there was a genuine concern against the toilet, they were willing to consider it.(HT FILE)

Parsis have objected to a notice issued to build a pay-and-use toilet block near Dadiseth Atash Behram, Marine Lines. They said that the notice was sent to them after the date for filing objections to the project expired.

“The last date for raising objection against the toilet block is over, post which this notice has come in our hands. It is unacceptable that there is a proposal to build a toilet block next to our religious place, which is more than 300 years old, when a previous high court order clearly says there cannot be toilets around 100 metres of religious structures,” said Rayomand Zaiwala, lawyer.

The letter has been issued dated May 10, 2018, with the due date to accept objections and suggestions being June 8, 2018. However, the community has alleged that they received the notice only on Thursday, June 14.

This notice has been issued around five years after the Bombay high court directed that a toilet built close to Bhika Behram well, a grade 1 heritage structure, near Cross Maidan, be demolished. The trustees of Bhika Behram well had argued that seepage of sewage could contaminate the water of the well, which is used for religious purposes.

“These toilet blocks are nothing but money-making rackets. Why would the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) want to hurt our sentiments by building them next our religious places? Our Atash Behrams have a well from which the water is used for religious ceremonies,” said Viraf Kapadia, trustee, Bhika Behram well.

However, Udaykumar Shiroorkar, assistant municipal commissioner, C-ward, said if there was a genuine concern against the toilet, they were willing to consider it.

“It is a part of our procedure wherein we ask for objections and suggestions from the members once the site has been finalised. There was a suggestion from the councillor to have a toilet in the area, but if the community has a concern because it is around their religious site, it will be considered,” said Shiroorkar.

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 00:49 IST