Mumbai: Holy Cross loses prime T2 spot, but gets home near 5-star

The 100-year-old holy cross opposite the swanky new Terminal 2 had to be relocated near a hotel to make room for the upcoming Metro station outside the airport

The cross was transported and relocated on Saturday
The cross was transported and relocated on Saturday

After a 100-year stint opposite the swanky new Terminal 2, a holy cross was on Saturday relocated to a spot near the Grand Hyatt, all because of the ongoing Metro construction work. The community, meanwhile, is just breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn't altogether demolished.

Jacqueline Pires, owner of the Cross
Jacqueline Pires, owner of the Cross

As part of its plan of building a metro station near the airport terminal, authorities on Friday, with the consent and approval of both - the Pires family, owners of the Cross, as well as airport authorities — carefully removed the holy structure.

Glad not demolished
It was then relocated to near Hyatt hotel on Saturday morning, and a prayer ceremony was held by the local parish priest to bless the cross). According to Melroy Pires, a resident of Sahar village, the Cross was first erected during his grandmother's time and has been a part of the Pires family for generations. His wife, Jacqueline, said that the new relocation spot given to them was a permanent one by the airport authorities.

"Earlier, the cross was located near Hotel Ambassador, right opposite T2," Jacqueline said, adding that the relocation was supported by the local parishioners. "We are happy that it was not demolished, just relocated. Of late, there have been numerous cases of crosses being demolished across the city."

Community happy
I prayed at the place where the cross was previously located, and then blessed the new spot as well," said Father Evan Dsouza, the parish priest. He pointed out that it was important to perform prayers and bless the spot.

Additionally, Melwyn Fernandes, Secretary, Association of Concerned Catholics said, "The Catholic community in Mumbai is in favour of development of the city," adding, "When the crosses have to be moved, we cooperate with the authorities."

MMRC says
"The relocation was done because of the work which is going on in front of T2 for the upcoming Metro station," said an MMRCL spokesperson. "The community members requested the Mumbai International Private Limited (MIPL) to give them land to relocate the cross, and it has been amicably relocated to the new spot." The ongoing metro work has resulted in displacement of many structures and more importantly, trees.

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