The next time you don’t spot the familiar milestone in your area, don’t be surprised. In the past five years, the city has lost six milestones and the Heritage Committee has no clue about the ones that have been lost and have no plans for preservation of the remaining either.
This one on Tamil Sangam Road opposite Sion Hospital is among the few remaining pre-independence milestones. Pic/ Suresh KK
A few months ago, a 200-year-old milestone from the British era a Grade I heritage structure and one among the 11 left of the 16 milestones listed in the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) heritage list went missing from the Prabhadevi area. But in spite of the number of milestones going missing on the rise, the authorities hardly seem bothered.
“After a survey carried out by the MMRDA in 2002 which was completed in 2005, the complete list of milestones in the city was handed over to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), so that they could take care of them, but nothing has come out of it,” an architect and conservator, who did not wish to be named, told sunday mid-day.
He added that it is the BMC’s job to preserve the milestones as they have heritage value. “The city has already lost six milestones but the remaining can be preserved on the same location.
They should be displayed prominently so that the next generation knows about these 200-year-old milestones. They can be a good tourist attraction as well,” said another heritage expert.
Tasneem Mehta, honorary director of the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla feels that the remaining milestones should be preserved in the museum and she will follow the issue with the BMC officials. “Though there is no rule in this regard, milestones are important records and should be preserved,” said Mehta.
At present, there are two milestones in the museum. When contacted, the BMC officials seemed unaware about the issue. “I will discuss the issue with the BMC architect and then decide on further course of action,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, incharge of the island city.
>> Old Milestone on Ibrahim Rahmatullah Road
>> Dr Mascarenhas Road, Opposite Bank of India Mazgaon Branch, Mazgaon
>> BA Ambedkar Marg, In front of Voltas Nagar near Chinchpokli Bridge East end
>> Dr SS Rao Road, Parel, near Sai Traders and Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Parel
>> LJ Road (Mahim), north of junction of Kataria Marg
>> Opposite Prabhadevi Temple, Prabhadevi