In an attempt to acquire part of its century-old cemetery for road widening, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation issued a notice to St. Peter’s Seaside Church Bandra.
Mumbai : St. Peter’s Seaside Crematorium in Bandra (West) has received a notification from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that the property containing the crematorium will be acquired by the civic body for the proposed road widening project. The Bandra Bene Israel Jewish Cemetery across the road received a similar notice from BMC officials.
A day after residents, political parties and activists protested the BMC’s notice demanding possession of 9.15 sq ft of land belonging to St. Peter’s Church Bandra Seaside Crematorium. The Municipal Corporation withdrew the notice.
St. Peter’s Cemetery was built in 1907 and is located at Kadeshwari Road in Bandra, which is an extension of Chapel Road. There are 475 graves in the cemetery. On January 6, Friday evening, community members organized a public demonstration to prepare an action pan to cancel the notice.
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700 people participated in this meeting. BCS President Dolphy D’Souza was the coordinator of the public gathering.
“We all have religious and sentimental feelings attached to these graves,” Father Fraser Mascarenhas said in his address to the gathering. Apart from this, he also said, “The motive behind the notice involves commercial interests.”
Moreover, Dolphy D’Souza shamed the behavior of the civic body officials, saying, “They will not be given even an inch of land in our cemetery, to disturb our peaceful brothers and sisters.”
Aiming to reflect solidarity and unity, BCS President Dolphy announced, “We will be holding a candlelit prayer procession from the church to the cemetery on Tuesday, January 10 at 5:30 p.m. The purpose of this procession is to demand the removal of this issue forever. By BMC.
After the BMC temporarily withdrew the notice, the parish priest said, “The withdrawal was done under duress, this should not happen again.”
Public Demonstration Scenes:
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