CSF Protests: BMC seeks Sacred Heart Church land to widen road

March 7, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Sacred Heart ChurchMumbai, March 07, 2013: The landmark Sacred Heart Church in Santa Cruz has been served a land acquisition notice by the civic authorities. The BMC wishes to take over 824 sq m of its property for widening the road leading to Khar subway from the present 60 ft to 90 ft.

The church’s grotto and a portion of its social service centre will have to be demolished for the project. Similar notices have been issued to neighbouring residential properties in Church Avenue, some of which are heritage structures.

An elderly resident said he received two notices, one threatening to take over the property within seven days, another within 48 hours.

The Bombay Catholic Sabha, church authorities, parishioners and residents have decried the move. Parish priest Fr Vernon Aguiar said, “The road-widening will serve no purpose other than to create a bottleneck at Khar subway, which is only 50 ft wide and has two only lanes for cars. Back in 1988, the authorities had even proposed to build a road overbridge (ROB) near the railway track but that proposal was shelved because it technically was not feasible.

” Residents say that only light motor vehicles, namely cars and rickshaws, use the subway.

The acquisition notice has been signed by officials of H West ward and the deputy municipal commissioner of Zone III.

A senior BMC official said, “Typically, the ward office is assigned the task of acquiring setback land for road-widening projects.

We have received a letter from the church detailing its objections to the move and will put it up before the higher authorities.”

– times of India

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