Mumbai: 'Harassed' by BMC, Catholics to protest demolition drive

The cross at Alfred Creado Road is constantly under demolition threat
The cross at Alfred Creado Road is constantly under demolition threat

A long-standing fight of Catholic associations and activists with the BMC, regarding a Cross located at Alfred Creado Road, Vile Parle, is finally going to take the form of a protest on November 24. Members of the Watchdog Foundation, The Bombay East Indian Association, and Bombay Catholic Sabha along with local Catholics are going to hold a silent protest. They said the civic body has been targeting the community when it comes to demolishing illegal shrines.

President of the Bombay East Indian Association, advocate Vivian D’Souza said, “We are not against development. Since 2003, five crosses have been removed for widening of roads. However, every time civic polls draw closer, BMC asks for documents related to the Alfred Creado Road Cross. Why should we submit documents every time a new official or government comes to power?”

“The court order mentions that the shrines built after 1961 are illegal. Why should this cross be demolished then? It came into existence much before that,” he added.

What the law says
Advocate Prahlad Bhilare said, “If a particular shrine falls in the line of road widening and development, then it has to be removed. There are certain government policies that are followed while removing shrines, but if they are really old, then an alternate space has to be allotted.”

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