‘SOUL’ful morcha stirs BMC

‘SOUL’ful morcha stirs BMC

Monday, January 21, 2013
By Prashant Hamine and Philip Varghese
Afternoon Despatch & courier

SOUL Morcha PIC.

The 8,000 odd strong morcha under the banner of Save Our Lands (SOUL) to P/North ward office, protesting against the acquisition of church lands of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani and Our Lady of Assumption Church, Kandivali, stirred the soul out of the BMC administration. While the morcha was at the BMC ward office, Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte, along with administration staff, was visiting the sites at Malwani and Kandivali.

It may be recalled that a month ago, former police commissioner Julio Rebeiro and a SOUL team had met with Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte and discussed withdrawing notices of acquisition served to the churches and allotting land for the cemetery on the Eastern side of the Western Suburbs.

Speaking to the ADC, SOUL spokesperson Dolphy D’Souza stated that their agitation will continue till the BMC addresses their demands for a cemetery along the Western Express Highway near Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon (East). The community has no cemetery on the eastern side of the highway between Khar to Dahisar.

SOUL had met the municipal commissioner on December 20 last year, along with former police commissioner Julio Rebeiro and apprised him about the problems.

In the memorandum submitted to the Assistant Municipal Commissioner, P/North ward office, SOUL has demanded permanent withdrawal of land acquisition notices to St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani, St. Josephs High School Ground, Kandivali, Our Lady of Assumption Church, Kandivali and allotment of land for cemetery on the eastern side of the western suburbs.

He stated that the administration sent land acquisition notices to the Malwani and Kandivali church on the pretext of road widening and nallah widening. D’Souza added that the Christian community was not against development, but against the callous manner in which the administration was going about acquiring land. With regard to the St. Anthony’s Church, the church willingly had parted away with sizeable part of the land for road widening. While in the matter of Our Lady of Assumption Church. the land was given for widening of the nallah.

D’Souza added that St. Anthony’s Church, which is more than 400 years old, has already been granted a Grade II status. While in the case of widening of the nallah in Kandivali, the MMRDA and the survey conducted by Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS) had in their report recommended deepening of the Poisar River, rather than widening of the river beyond 36 meters.  He said that there are schools, play grounds and church properties at both the places, which are well within the compound walls. He pointed out that even the INS HAMLA had objected to the civic administration trying to develop the area close to the defense establishment at Malwani. D’Souza demanded that the administration immediately implement its plan for the proposed cemetery at Akurli village, Wadar Pada in Kandivali.

Among the members of the delegation were: Fr. Austin Norris, Parish Priest, St. Anthony’s Church, Fr. Gerald Fernandes, Parish Priest, Our Lady of Assumption Church, Fr. Daniel Fernandes, Asst. Parish Priest, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Orlem, Fr. Savio, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Forsaken, Fr. Allwyn Misquitta, Asst.

Parish Priest, St. John  Bosco Church,Borivli, Sr. Gertie, Yucca Gomes, Vice-President St. Anthony Church Parish Council. The SOUL team consisted of  Stanley Fernandez, Greg Pereira, Bernadine D’costa, Prashanth Pereira, Lennon Miranda, Alex Dmello, Godfrey Pimenta, President –Sahar Citizens Forum, Nicholas Almeida- President- St. John Baptist Church Save Committee,  Rashid Azim, President of the All India Milli Council, Mumbai, Activists Anil Joseph, Daphne Warapen  and Dolphy D’souza, Spokesperson, SOUL Team.

 Blog:  www.silementmaj.wordpress.com
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  1. March 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm

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