Mr. Nicholas Almeida, an ex Corporator has taken initiative and served a Legal notice on BMC, in order to save the Church Property. Text of the notice follows. We on behalf of Parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani; thank him. We keep our fingers crossed and stand by him.
 Text of the Notice
18th  September  12012
1. Municipal Commissioner,
Mumbai Municipal Corporation,
Mahapalika Marg,
Opp. C.S. T Station,
Mumbai 400 001.
2. Assistant Municipal Commissioner,
Mumbai Municipal Corporation,
P/N Ward Office Bldg.,
Liberty Garden,
Mamletdarwadi Marg,
Malad (West),
Mumbai-400 064.     
3. Senior Police Inspector,
Malwani Police Station,
Gate No.5,
Shahid Abdul Hamid Marg,
Malwani, Malad (W),
Mumbai-400 095.
Under the instructions of my client Mr. Nicholas H. Almeida, having his address at, Almeida House, Church Pakhadi Road No.2, Sahar Village, Vile Parle  ( East ), Mumbai 400 099, I  have been instructed to address you as follows:
My client states that he is social activist and was elected as independent Corporator of Mumbai Municipal Corporation, from Sahar area in Mumbai for the term 1992-1997. During his tenure as Corporator he was instrumental in getting electric supply connections to more than fifty thousands slum dwellers on the encroached lands belonging Airport Authority of India in the vicinity of Mumbai Airport, which was then denied to all residents on encroached lands of Airport Authority of India as the NOC was being denied. My client further states that he has also filed a Public Interest Litigation in the year 1999, on the issue of treatment meted out the statues of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj by Mumbai Police. The Hon’ble High Court was pleased to thank my client for bringing it to High Court’s notice the pathetic condition in which the statues of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj by Mumbai Police were stored along with stolen/seized items. My client further states that he was also actively involved in opposing SEZ, at Gorai, Mumbai, which meant acquisition of more than 5000 acres of agriculture lands and part of the lands were also protected forest viz. mangroves. The part of SEZ was also coming in mangrove area, which has been identified by Ministry of Environment and Forests as one of the area in the country for intensive conservation. Due to sustained efforts on the part of locals, whom my client was advising, the area of the SEZ is now pruned down to merely some hundred odd acres. My client further states that he was also instrumental in opposing setting up of dumping ground (solid waste management project) at Uttan Dongri within the limits of Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation. The dumping ground is set in midst of human settlement in violation of environmental norms, thereby affecting their health. On this issue my client along with Mr. B.G. Kolse Patil, former Judge of the Bombay High Court, were illegally externed by the Thane Police for a period of two months. My client further states that he in his capacity as the President of the St. John the Baptist Church Save Committee was instrumental in filing 20 odd writs petitions in this Hon’ble High Court against the Mumbai Municipal Corporations action against the illegal shrines in the city of Mumbai. My client further states that he succeeded in saving more than 90% Holy Crosses located on many footpaths in Mumbai, as being more than century old. In the year 2004 my client took up the issue of unclaimed bodies rotting in the R.N. Cooper Hospital Morgue, Mumbai and also donated 700 meters of cloth for burial of 45 unclaimed bodies. On this issue my client also got the Coroner arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau for taking bribe to dispose of 48 unclaimed bodies. My client further states that he has filed several hundred RTI’s on matters of public importance. The latest issue to be taken by my client was of interest of Slum dwellers, who are residing on encroached lands belonging to Airport Authority of India, at Mumbai Airport, who are sought to be deprived of the benefits of the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007. In this connection my client had filed a PIL No. 117 of 2009 in Hon’ble Bombay High Court, which came to be disposed of as being premature. Nonetheless Hon’ble Court was pleased to observe that, no case is made out that the Respondents do not propose implement such a policy, if there is a National Policy, it is the bounden duty of the authorities, which are concerned with the implementation of the said policy and to go on with such a project. My client further states that he has filed another Public Interest Litigation in Hon’ble Bombay High Court, concerning pollutions of rivers in the State of Maharashtra and has also taken up the issue of threat to Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
My client  has submitted memorandum to the Hon’ble Chief Minister, in reference to the notice bearing reference No. CHE / 1271 / DP / Gen dated 31st July 2012 published by Chief Engineer, Development Plan, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, on the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai website in connection with certain modifications/additions to existing Heritage list and inviting suggestions / objections from the public on the said proposal of modification / review to the existing Heritage List & new listing.
My client states that he was pleased to note that the Government /Corporation  has taken a good decision to include additional structures / sites / Precincts from City, Western Suburbs & Eastern Suburbs; to be included as supplement to the existing Heritage List and welcomed the same. However, my client lodged his strong protest against the decision to include villages such as Sherley Rajan, Ranwar, Palli Hill, Old Khar, Andheri, Kevni, Amboli, Versova, Rathodi, Marve, Aksa, Errangel, Madh, Gorai, Marol, Gundavli and Vile Parle in the heritage list.
My client states that as such he was shocked to note the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, vide a notice dated 1st September 2012 served on the St. Anthony’s Church, Malavani, Malad ( West), Mumbai, which has been propose to be included in the recently published heritage list, as a Grade II (A) heritage structure,  has  called upon the Church to hand over its open plot as set back for the purposes of road widening.
My client invites over attention to the similar move by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation to widen the Hill Road, Bandra Mumbai which was then affecting St. Peter’s Church and St. Andrew’s Church, my client had then filed criminal complaint in the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court at Bandra, Mumbai against then Municipal Commissioner and Mr. Assist. Municipal Commissioner H West Ward for defilement of place of worship and hurting the religious sentiments of the Christian community.
My client further states that he had filed a criminal complaint against the Municipal Commissioner Mr. Subodh Kumar and Mr. Devendra Jain, Assist. Municipal Commissioner G North Ward, for deliberately  and maliciously  destroying , damaging  and defiling  a place of worship i.e. Holy Cross situated at, Gokhale Road, Dadar, Mumbai on 4th March  2011, which is sacred and revered by all Christians including my client ,  thereby insulting the religion of  the Christian community in Mumbai.
My client, therefore, calls upon you to cease and desist from going ahead with the proposed road widening, failing which my client shall adopt appropriate legal proceedings against you addressee No.1 & 2, as may be advised to him at your entire risk as to costs and consequences thereof, which please note.
( Godfrey W. Pimenta )
CC: Shri Sanjay Nirupam, Hon’ble M.P
       Shri Aslam Khan, Hon’ble M.L.A.

       Rev. Fr. Austin Norris, Parish Priest, St. Anthony’s Church.


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1 Comment

  1. Silent Voice said,

    September 19, 2012 at 8:36 am


    The Asst.Municipal Commissioner

    P/ North Ward

    Liberty Garden, Malad West, Mumbai 400 064


    Re: Withdraw the notice issued to St Anthony’s Church, unconditionally.

    It has been reported in the Times of India of September 18 that your office issued notice to St.Anthony’s Church, Malwani, Malad West on September 01 , 2012 , to hand over a portion of the church land for road widening.

    St Anthony’s Church, Malwani built in 1872 figures in the recently proposed heritage list as a Grade II [A] heritage structure. You will appreciate all of these structures have great religious and heritage value not only for persons of the catholic faith but also of other faiths.

    What is surprising is a claim by your office that in 1980 the said church had signed an agreement stating that it will hand over land for road widening.

    But I am even more surprised to note that permissions has been granted for construction of a few residential / commercial structures exactly opposite the Church and which is evidently touching the road as recent as 2001. Why did the BMC not factor the road widening while issuing such permissions?Hence it is not understood as to why the Corporation has chosen to acquire religious and heritage structures on one hand and have permitted construction of commercial / residential structures on the other hand.

    Also can the BMC make it public how many other structures on the said road have been issued notices but the land is not acquired for road widening since several years.

    The BMC must find a way to widen the road because of its own follies and must withdraw the said notice unconditionally.

    I, therefore urge the BMC not to precipitate any action which will hurt the religious sentiments of the community for whom these structures hold highest sanctity.

    Thanking you,

    Yours faithfully,

    Dolphy D’Souza

    Former National Vice President- All India Catholic Union [AICU] &

    Immd. Past President- The Bombay Catholic Sabha

    105, Evergreen Apts, Mith Chowky, Marve Road, Malad West, Mumbai 400 064.

    Cell: 9820226227 : Email:


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