Mumbai: BMC revives plan of restoring heritage milestone markers

Updated: Jan 14, 2020, 07:39 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

The new tender floated for this also mentions that the contractor will have to take measures to protect the markers

One of the restored milestones near Bhatia Hospital. Pic/Shadab Khan
One of the restored milestones near Bhatia Hospital. Pic/Shadab Khan

After almost a year of putting it on the back burner, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revived its plan of restoring heritage milestone markers in the city.

In the new tender floated by the civic body's Building Maintenance Department for the restoration of the milestone markers which are spread across the Island City, there are also plans to guard them.

The BMC has managed to trace 11 of the 15 milestones which are from 1817 and 1837. The four missing ones will be replicated. The plan is likely to take off in a month's time, and the contract for the work will be for six months.

A senior official from the BMC's Heritage Department said, "When the contractor bids for this tender, he will have to first ensure that they get stones which match the heritage value milestones. These stones will be about five feet high and will be engraved to match the others."

Contractors to guard them
The BMC also plans to put up the old names of the areas at the spot where these milestones will be located, to ensure that the name is revived and old Mumbai can be remembered by many. The BMC has already restored three of the 11 milestones — one at Parel near MD College and two near Bhatia Hospital at Tardeo. However, they are not guarded and so, in this work tender, it has been mentioned that the contractors will also have to place informative boards around the milestones, and protect them from miscreants.

The restoration of four milestones will begin next week. Work on four others will begin after the tender is allotted. Most of the milestones have Roman numerals to mark the miles, and all are grade I heritage structures. Milestones in Mumbai were distance markers from St. Thomas Church in Fort (which in the 18th century comprised the city centre) up to Sion.

Official speak
A senior civic official said, "We will also beautify the areas around the milestones which have been restored and have fencing around them so that they stay protected and are still visible."

No. of missing milestones that will be replicated

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