Mumbai: 8 CCTV cameras to keep a watch on Khada Parsi statue

BMC officials say thieves and drug addicts have been cutting off pieces from the base of the iconic statue and selling them as scrap, prompting the move

In a bid to safeguard the Khada Parsi from drug addicts and thieves, the BMC is set to install eight CCTV cameras and a circular fence around the statue.

The Khada Parsi statue in Byculla. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The Khada Parsi statue in Byculla. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

One of only two such cast-iron statues in the world the other being in Cires in Chile the Khada Parsi in Byculla has been under attack from the addicts and thieves, who have reportedly been cutting off pieces from its base and selling them as scrap.

To prevent this, the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) has approved a plan to install eight CCTV cameras. Umesh Nagarkar, an officer with MHCC, said, “We passed the proposal to install the CCTV cameras around the statue recently.” Of the eight cameras, four will be installed on the pillar of one arm of the flyover there, two at the BMC monitoring centre and two on the other arm of the flyover.

The BMC had finished restoring the statue in June 2014 at a cost of just under Rs 1 crore and the annual maintenance cost of the statue is around Rs 6 lakh. “We recently restored the statue but keeping it safe from drug addicts and thieves is a big issue. Now, we can at least monitor the movement there,” said a BMC official, adding that a circular fence will also be installed.

“We have submitted this plan to the heritage committee. Once we get the approval; only then will we begin work on the installation of CCTVs,” said Sanjay Sawant, executive engineer (in-charge of statues), BMC.

Did you know?
Built in the 1860s, the statue of Seth Cursetjee Manockjee, known as the Khada Parsi statue, was commissioned by his youngest son Manockjee Cursetjee

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