Skip to main content

Mumbai Christians suspect builder-official nexus, to protest proposed demolition of Heritage Cross,Graveyard

Poster calling for protest
By Our Representative
Two Christian NGOs, Save Our Land (SOUL) and Watchdog Foundation, have decided to stage a strong protest in Mumbai against Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC's) “decision” to demolish the historic 450 years old Heritage Cross and the Graveyard of the Heritage Church of Our Lady of Remedy in West Kandivali.
SOUL suspects, the decision to demolish these historic structures has come about as many builders are finding it “difficult to remove the religious structures on the road/footpath, including to the Holy Crosses”, the communique says, they are now conniving with officials of the BMC “for the removal of such religious structures.”
“Our Lady of Remedy Church is not an exception to this unholy nexus. There is a 32 storey tower very close to the church and there are no flat purchasers for the building and the building is lying mostly vacant due to narrow passage, which leads to the building. Therefore, it is clear at whose instance the local officials are acting to widen the SV Road in front the church”, the NGO says.
The demonstration has been proposed for May 22, 2016, at 10.30 am outside the Our Lady of Remedy Church, opposite Poinsur Depot, SV Road. 
The church was built in 1550, with Our Lady of Remedy High School is one of the oldest schools in Kandivali West, having been established in 1926.
Alleging that the BMC “is hell bent on trampling the rights of thein the state, which are guaranteed under the Constitution of India”, the NGO communique says, on February 23, 2016, a chawl on the church’s property was demolished. And on April 21, 2016, the sub-engineer of the corporation came with officers and threatened the church employees.
Contending that the “heritage church has a heritage cemetery”, it says, “There is a religious sentiment as far as the dead are concerned in the graves and the bodies are semi-decomposed and desecrating and opening them on the intended road will disturb the religious sentiments of the families of the deceased and can give rise to law and order problem.”
“There are at the moment approximately 100 graves. If the unwarranted demolition is carried out the Church stands to lose almost 50 percent of the graves, which will leave hardly any burial place for the parishioners of the Church”, it says.
According to SOUL spokesperson Dolphy A. D'souza , “In spite of several agitations and protests in the past, the BMC has not been able to allot land and construct a cemetery for the last 15 years on the western express highway for the Christian community that numbers almost 3 lakhs.”
“Time and again”, he says, the corporation has “made promises but nothing concrete has happened. Hence the Christian community has to transport their beloved deceased members as far as Sewri / Sion/ Oshiwara for burial purposes, putting them to tremendous hardships and expense while they are grieving for their departed.”
Insisting that the Church has been included in the proposed heritage Category II A List published by the BMC, the communique says, the Church, along with the Holy Cross, would “qualify to fall under the definition of ‘ancient monuments’ as defined in Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 and thus need to be preserved and protected.”
“As per the Development Control Regulations for Greater Mumbai, 1995, particularly, the Heritage Regulations for Greater Bombay, 1995 framed under Regulation No.67, lists some of the Churches in Grade II A of the Heritage Regulation and contribute to the image and identity of the City”, it adds.

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.