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OVER 12,000 CITIZENS PARTICIPATE IN THE SATYAGRAHA MARCH ON SATURDAY, 16 February at 10.00 a.m. from St. Joseph High School Grounds, Kandivali WEST to the R/South Ward Office .


 Parents of the Children of St. Joseph’s High School and St. Anthony’s Church attended  in large numbers.

1] SOUL Delegation handed a memorandum to the Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Shri Bharat Marathe – R/ South Ward along with the first lot of 30,000 signatures .

Our discussion with Mr. Marathe was on the following issues.

2] We asked Mr. Marathe if he had received any response from Mr. Sitaram Kunte, Municipal Commissioner who had visited both sites on January 19th at St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani and Our Lady of Assumption Church.

Mr. Marathe stated that the Sr. Engineer of the BRIMSTOWAD PROJECT had submitted his report on the River Poisar Nullah Widening to the Municipal Commissioner. It was now for the Municipal Commissioner to take a decision, is what he remarked.

We have requested him to expedite the response as the citizens and the Christian community are getting agitated with the delay.

3]In the present situation as highlighted earlier, the existing width of the Nullah / River at the School /Church is at 36 mtrs which is the widest. Hence trying to acquire more land for increasing the widths smells of a conspiracy and is technically not a feasible move. In fact the WAPCOS report itself indicates that the width should not be more than 33 mtrs, yet our appeal to the BMC has fallen on deaf years.

4] We had brought it to the attention of the Municipal Commissioner at the time of his site visit the plan of the BRIMSTOWAD which clearly indicates that the course of the river has been diverted at the instance of vested interests. In fact the bridge upriver which was much smaller and turning much before the Church has now been extended directly in line with the church boundary making the river flow at the school end. Has this been investigated? Who is responsible for this?

5] What happened to the instructions of the Municipal Commissioner to immediately get rid of the arrack shop on top of the river next to the school ? Under the rules no arrack shop should be 100 mtrs from a School/ Church. Why that has not been complied with and appropriate action not taken.

6] The WAPCOS report [ agency appointed by BMC] clearly states the following actions need to be done first.

a. De silting of the river- which has never been done in the recent past.

b. Removal of constraints – hutments which exists on the entire stretch of the river , at one stretch downriver near Malad is completely choked by it.

c] Ban on dumping effluents, plastics and garbage in the river.

d] Deepening the river.

What action has been taken till now?

7] Why has the Garbage dump near the School not been removed till date although the Municipal Commissioner had instructed to do so on January 19th, 2013.

We politely informed Mr. Marathe, that if this is not done soon than we will have no choice but to dump that garbage outside the ward office.

On the garbage dump issue Mr. Marathe gave instructions in our presence to the Ward officials to move this out at the earliest.

8] What happens to the 1700 children who lose part of the playground? At the moment the existing ground is not big enough and children are allowed use of the grounds on shift basis. On the other hand, the Education Department keeps on pestering the Schools that according to their norms certains hours must be designated for sports and other outdoor activities.

9] On the Cemetery issue on the Eastern side of the Western suburbs there has been some progress and the land acquiring is under progress was stated by Mr. Marathe.

10] Mr. Marathe gave a patient listening to the delegation. We requested Mr. Marathe to keep us informed about the developments on each of the cases under his care from time to time. Mr. Marathe said he would convey our sentiments to the Municipal Commissioner and would help sort out the said issues at the earliest.


11] SOUL Team warns the BMC administration of an intensified agitation and have decided that they will continue their Satyagraha protests till both the issues as well the implementation of the Cemetery is not attended to on priority basis. This is to put you on notice that plans are on for a major agitation at Azad Maidan if our grievances are not solved positively by then. We are exploring the shutting down of all our institutions for a day as a mark of protest against this injustice.


12] Our next public meeting will be held on Saturday, March 02 at 6.30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall, Marve Road, Orlem, Malad West.






Among the members of the delegation were: Fr. Gerald Fernandes, Parish Priest , Fr. Byron Mendonca, Asst. Parish Priest of Our Lady of Assumption Church,, Fr. Austin Norris, Parish Priest, Fr. James Correa, Fr. Henry Dsouza, St.Anthony Church, Malwani, Fr. James Dcosta, Principal St. Anthony’s School Church, Fr. Savio Dsouza , Parish Priest of Our Lady of Forsaken, Fr. Warner Dsouza , Parish Priest, St. Jude Church, Fr. Melroy Mendonca, Our Lady of Assumption Church, Smt Fatima Pereira , Principal of Primary Section, St. Joseph’s High School, Soul Team consisted of Co-ordinators – Stanley Fernandez, Greg Pereira, Prashanth Pereira, Lennon Miranda, Godfrey Pimenta, President –Sahar Citizens Forum, Gordon Dsouza, President – The Bombay Catholic Sabha and Dolphy D’souza, Spokesperson, SOUL Team.

Fr. Gilbert D’lima, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Orlem and Fr. Edward Dsouza , Our Lady of Remedy Church joined us in the Satyagraha March.

Among the organizations who have supported this campaign are: The Bombay Catholic Sabha, Sahar Citizens Forum, Watchdog Foundation, St. John Baptist Church Save Committee, PTA Members of both St Josephs High School & St. Anthony’s High School, Silent Voice, various other NGO’s , citizens and activists.

warm regards,

Dolphy D’souza


“Save our Land” SOUL Team

Cell: 9820226227





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