Metro realignment for Matoshree irks Parsi community

Say all problems should have been taken into consideration, some call it blatant discrimination

Reports of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) realigning Metro 2B near Bandra Kurla Complex due to security concerns for Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s residence Matoshree have irked the Parsi community.

The community had been demanding realignment of the underground Metro 3 tunnels to preserve the sanctity of two fire temples located near the Princess Street junction, but their request was not considered.

“They have violated our religious sentiments. They destroyed the sanctity and desecrated our ancient and holy fire temples,” community member Jamshed Sukhadwalla said. “They considered realignment for a particular family’s safety. We have no objection to that. But, it shows that the planning was never perfect. All such issues should have been taken into consideration while planning and preparing the estimate of the project,” he said. This also means that the authorities can consider the suggestions selectively, if they want to, Mr. Sukhadwalla said.

The 188-year-old Wadia Atash Behram and 122-year-old Anjuman Atash Behram, located near Princess Street junction, house the highest grade of fire for the Parsis. The community had demanded a realignment of the Metro tunnel by just four metres to ensure the spiritual sanctity of the fire temples is maintained.

Community member Viraf Kapadia termed the BKC realignment a “blatantly biased” move. “They have hurt the sentiments of the Parsi community. We were demanding something that was very important for us. They ignored such an important demand, but made changes for the concern of one family. How is that fair?” he said.

The community has even moved the Supreme Court for relief. In the latest development in the case, the Metro authorities proposed to move the Kalbadevi station 20 metres away from the nearest boundary wall of one fire temple.

The reports of the realignment at Bandra Kurla Complex have also upset citizens who have been fighting against a Metro shed coming up in the Aarey forest.

Published on The Hindu