Withdraw Land Acquisition Notice to OL of Assumption Church

October 22, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

The CSF, MCYF, AOCC & CPF Memorandum to CM & MC

Our Lady of Assumption church, Kandivli

Our Lady of Assumption church, Kandivli

Mumbai, October 22, 2012: The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) and other community groups like the Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum (MCYF), Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), Catholics for the Preservation of the Faith (CPF) have taken strong objection to the municipal notice being sent to Our Lady of Assumption Church, Dahanukar Wadi, Kandivli (West), Mumbai 400067. The groups have in memorandums to the chief minister and municipal commissioner called for withdrawal of the notice, which requires the 150 year church to give up land for the Poisur nallah (river tributary) widening. Sanjay Nirupam, local MP assured a gathering of parishioners that apart from the merits of the case, since the church premises was also a heritage precinct, he would see to it that not even an inch of land would be taken away. The CSF and the NGOs have warned that they are acting as watchdogs and will launch an intensified protest, if there are no tangible results. The Church has rejected the possibility of extra FSI in lieu of the property lost. The Poisar river-widening project is being undertaken as part of the Brimstowad project, which began after the 2005 deluge to augment the holding capacity of the river and build a retaining wall too.

Earlier, many parishioners under a Committee, led by Fr. Gerald Fernandes parish priest expressed concern at the situation and were worried at the turn of events. He said that the church has already given land in the past without claiming any compensation but giving away land from the already depleted premises would affect the people very badly as the cemetery, the school playground and place behind the church was involved which would compromise the security of the institution.  Surrendering of the burial place would grievously hurt the sentiments of the parishioners as they contain the relics of their ancestors. He appealed to the elected representatives and the concerned BMC officials who were present at the meeting to withdraw the acquisition notice.

Mr. Lennon Miranda a local youth leader by means of a PowerPoint presentation described at the meeting the injustice done to the church, which was also attended by a large number of parents of students, studying in the St. Joseph’s High School nearby.  “According to the law, all the affected parties should be served the notice together and before the commencement of the project,” said Lennon Miranda. Dr. Mrs. Geeta Yadav, municipal corporator and Mrs Parul Mehta nominated corporator also assured that they would take up the matter with the concerned authorities. Sr. Fatima Fernandes, Head Teacher of the secondary section of the School suggested the BMC should explore the option of desilting and deepening the clogged nallah which should suffice. Mrs. Fatima Pereira, Head Teacher of the primary section said that the already small playground would be reduced further leaving less open space for games and recreation.

As per the BMC notice, Our Lady of Assumption Church has been asked to surrender between 0.5 mt to 4 mt of land at various points along its boundary wall. Apart from losing the playground in front of the church, what is upsetting parishioners more is that the society opposite the river, in which former deputy mayor and BJP corporator Shailaja Girkar resides, has been asked to surrender only 1m land in lieu of FSI that the under-construction society can put to use. Churchgoers take exception to the fact that the society was served a notice a year back and the church was served a notice after the retaining wall on the society’s side had been constructed. Further, it is pointed out that the plan prepared by the Dy. Chief Engineer (SWD) includes an access road that would take away a further 6.0 mt from the premises for the cleaning and maintaining of the nallah. Part of the Church and school building would have to be demolished to make way for this access road. The grievance is that not only was the Church given notice a year later, but also that on the other side there are even currently a large number of new constructions, which can easily be given extra FSI in lieu of the space surrendered and the space required be taken from the opposite end.

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.