LATEST UPDATE, on Land acquisition notices, served on St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani and OL of Assumption Church, Kandivali (W).

Dear Activist,
Latest updates. Please read and circulate.
Please get your self ready for December 01, ALL ROADS LEAD TO KANDIVALI.
We invite you for a meeting on Sunday, November 11 at 5.00 p.m. to plan the Peace Rally of Dec 01 at Our Lady of Assumption Church, M.G. Road, Kandivali West, Mumbai.
Thank you so far your consistent support.
1.Acquisition notice for Church lands/school ground/cemetery of Our Lady of Assumption Church, Kandivali West
2.Acquisition notice for Church lands/school ground of St. Anthony’s Church, Malvani, Malad West
3.Cemetry on the East side of the Western Surburbs
A delegation met with Mr. Julio Rebeiro today, November 5, to discuss the three important issues listed above.
Among the members of the delegation were Fr. Gerald Fernandes, Parish Priest & Fr. Byron Mendonca, Asst. Parish Priest of Our Lady of Assumption Church, M.G. Road, Kandivali West, Mr. Prashanth Pereira and Mr. Lennon Miranda, Youth Co-ordinators, Kandivali Parish, Fr. Austin Norris, Parish Priest and Adv. Ralston Fernandes, St Anthony’s Church, Malad West , Mr. Gordon Dsouza, President- The Bombay Catholic Sabha and Mr. Dolphy D’souza, Spokesperson- Save our Land- Committee, [SOUL]
Mr. Julio Rebeiro gave the delegation a patient hearing and has promised that he would take up the matters both with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the Municipal Commissioner.
The issues are listed below:
1. Our Lady of Assumption Church and St Joseph’s School, Kandivali West
The 450 year old Church and its premises of Our Lady of the Assumption, M.G. Road, and St. Joseph’s School [having a history exceeding 110 years] have been issued an acquisition notice to surrender parts of the cemetery, school ground and the Church for the purpose of widening the Poisar River which has now become a stinking gutter.
The core of the Brimstowad Project is that the storm water flows clearly in the sea. And instead of addressing this issue the BMC wants to waste the tax payers money by demolishing structures to widen the passage of the nulla. Instead, they can save the money of the common man by de-silting the nulla, deepening and preventing garbage/ debris from being dumped, a much easier task.
A plan was drawn up in 2008 to prevent flooding in Mumbai. Despite that BMC has approved constructions at the border of the nulla at numerous sites only recently.
We stand to lose hundreds of the graves of our ancestors. The Children numbering over 1700 lose a playground.
Also when the new church was constructed couple of years ago the BMC insisted that certain areas be kept free for fire brigade movement and other regulations. Now the BMC is stating that they can over look the same.
2. St Anthonys Church at Malvani, Malad West.
The BMC authorities issued notice of acquisition of parts of St. Anthony’s Church, Malvani, Malad West, for road widening.
The Mumbai Municipal Corporation has itself approved the proposal for listing and including St. Anthony’s Church with a grading of Grade II (A) in the recently published proposed heritage list. However they are bent on acquiring a structure built in 1872.
The BMC has called upon the Church to hand over its alleged open plot which is not at all open as the same consists of:
a) The compound wall
b) The structure in existence from 1872 which houses the blessed sacrament, the priests associated with the Parish, the Church Office and meeting place for parishioners c) Grotto of St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of the Church
Here are the questions we have posed to the BMC:
a) Is the Corporation entitled in Law to widen the road, whereby Grade II (A) heritage structures are bound to be destroyed permanently?
b) Is the Corporation working for the benefit of the common citizens or is it colluding with builders for the future development of the area, even when the entire area beyond Malvani Church is a ‘No Development Zone’ and is a sparsely populated area?
c) INS HAMLA, a highly protected training base for the Indian Navy, has always objected to the development of the area from the national security perspective. Is the Corporation trying to jeopardize the security of the nation in any manner by the proposed development?
3) We state that wherever the roads have been widened by the Corporation, the said roads have been usurped by illegal parking, hawkers, and commercial establishment like in the case of Kharodi slope, location much before the Church.
4) It is our humble request that you do not destroy the structures itself proposed and notified by you in the List of Heritage structures until an unless our objections both to the listing of Heritage structure be heard and dealt with by the concerned authority and until our objections pertaining to the issue of road widening and re-alignment h are heard and dealt with in positive direction and in the right perspective.
While they want the church land for road widening they have allowed constructions of residential/commercial premises as late as 2001.
3. Cemetery on the East side of the Western Suburbs
In 1996, land was allotted for a composite cemetery in Kandivali East. But owing to the alleged negligence of the BMC in not constructing the designated boundaries, this land was encroached upon. From 2003, the United Christian Community Centre has been agitating on this issue. Everyone including politicians promise but when it comes to implementation they go into a coma.
We are asking for land since 1996 which the BMC cannot provide. Meanwhile, the BMC demands land from the Churches/Schools as a matter of right.
BMC usually fails to plan but in this case their plans are surely going to fail. This type of bullying won’t do now. If they still insist in acquiring the said lands and do not provide us a Cemetry in a time bound manner, the community will have no choice but make this a political issue in the forthcoming elections of 2014 or earlier if it happens.
We will be sending shortly a Memorandum with over 30,000 signatures received till date to Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairman, NAC, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Municipal Commissioner, National and State Minorities Commissions, National Human Rights Commission and several other authorities.
Our peace rally has been organised along with the Bombay Catholic Sabha and several other Organisatins on December 1 at Kandivali to demand that the authorities resolve the issues to the satisfaction of the community.
We appeal to the Chief Minister to step in to address these just demands.
Dolphy D’souza
Save Our Land – Committee
c/o Our Lady of Assumption Church,
M.G. Road, Kandivali West,
Mumbai 400 067.
Cell: 09820226227 Email:

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