Dadar's iconic Parsi Colony, home to the unique Five Gardens, wears a morose look today.
Its residents are unhappy with a road widening project which is been initiated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation that threatens to stretch all roads in the area to 9 meters. According to BMC officials, the roads department had sent a list of total 80 such narrow roads to the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) claiming they need to be widened to enable development. Amongst these, 30 roads fall in the Parsi Colony which is classified as a heritage precinct.
Almost 4,000 residents have added their signatures to a campaign to halt the road widening project. “Our ancestors have planted the saplings when there was no Parsi Colony. They are the ones who built gardens and playgrounds and then buildings. If this road widening project gets a green signal, then we will end up losing three gardens and playgrounds. Along with this, 80-year-old trees will also be cut. We want to preserve the memories and hence we are against the road widening which will uproot the trees planted by our forefathers,” says Sheroy Daver, a Parsi Colony resident. He added that if the BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta, the MHCC president, Standing Committee Chairman and a group of civic leaders go ahead with the road widening project, the residents will protest outside the BMC headquarters.
Along with Parsi Colony, Dadar’s Hindu Colony also stands to lose its lush green cover. “We are not against redevelopment but we are against mass tree killing. We have spoken to the mayor and the BMC commissioner about the same and we are hoping for some dialogue to take place,” says local coporator Ameya Ghole.