Will authorities reduce an additional four metres of the underground Metro III tunnel to move it away from the Parsi temples’ sacrosanct kasti area? If they do, it could prove to be a solution to the problem, according to a response filed by the Parsi petitioners to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) in the Bombay High Court.
The court is currently hearing a petition praying for the tunnel to not go from anywhere near the holy Atash Behrams on the Jagganath Sankersett Road. mid-day had reported on July 3 in ‘Moving Metro III by 3.5 m is not enough: Petitioner,’ how a HC-appointed committee had categorically ruled out realignment of the underground project, but at the same time suggested that a realignment of 3.5 meters would reduce the extent of the Metro III tunnel under the Wadiaji and Anjuman Atash Behrams, which a petitioner had said ‘is not enough’.
Now, mid-day has learnt from one of the petitioners that in their recent response to MMRCL, they have mentioned that reducing the extent of the tunnel by 3.5 meters would still leave it under the temple’s sacrosanct ‘kasti’ area, where Parsis purify themselves with water, and where the tying and untying of the sacred kasti thread is done before offering prayers.
“We were originally asking for 9 metres of realignment. Now, if the tunnel were to be realigned by only 3.5 metres (as suggested by MMRCL), it would go from under the kasti area,” said one of the petitioners, adding, “But, if it can be realigned by an additional 4 meters (3.5 metres plus 4 metres), then it will be on the road, and the problem will be solved. We have replied saying this.” The matter will be heard in the Bombay HC on Tuesday.