Traces of history on Mumbai’s roads: BMC to look for British-era milestones, restore them
A few weeks after stumbling upon a British-era milestone during roadwork in Parel, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decided to look for others across the city and restore them.
The BMC is already in the process of restoring and barricading the Parel milestone, and officials said they were in talks with historians and experts to look for other milestones.
There are 15 such milestones in the city, all of them grade-1 heritage structures built during the British rule, but not all of them have been found.
The first milestone is near the St Thomas Cathedral near Kala Ghoda; there is one near the Sion Fort and another at Kataria Marg in Mahim.
“After we discovered the Parel milestone while clearing the footpath of encroachments, we got letters from several experts. We are now in constant touch with them and plan to look for other milestones and restore them once pre-monsoon work has been completed,” said a civic official.
Estimated to be more than 200 years old, the milestones measured distance using the St Thomas Cathedral as the starting point. A few of them that were found earlier are now in the Bhau Daji Lad museum.
Despite their historical value, several milestones continue face the threat of encroachments or road work. The civic body has so far not taken steps to restore, preserve and maintain them.
Senior Shiv Sena leader and corporator Kishori Pednekar had also put up a notice of motion in the general body demanding that the milestones be restored. “It is unfortunate the BMC has failed to maintain them. They are culturally significant for Mumbai,” Pednekar had said in her statement.
The notice of motion will be discussed by corporators in the next general body meeting.