Amidst Concerns Of Damage, Mumbai Metro Clarifies Tunneling Not A Threat To Parsi Agiaries
Amidst Concerns Of Damage, Mumbai Metro Clarifies Tunneling Not A Threat To Parsi AgiariesA tunnel boring machine (TBM) being lowered down a shaft for Mumbai Metro’s Line 3 in Mahim (Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Following the Bombay High Court’s direction to engage an independent body of experts to assess potential damage to two Parsi agiaries (fire temples) due to tunneling work, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has said that the alignment for the island city’s first underground line has been altered to minimise damage, reports DNA.

Following the apprehensions of the Parsi community, the MMRC has decided to alter the alignment of such tunneling work by around four metres to ensure that no damage was caused to the temples or the wells. Rather the tunneling work would only touch the verandah area of one of the two temples. Also, the work would not cause any structural damage to the heritage structure.
MMRC Counsel Srhihari Aney

As per the MMRC’s alignment, the metro tunnels will pass directly beneath two agiaries as well as the atash behrams (sacred fires) at Princess Street and Kalbadevi. While the Parsi community has held that tunneling would damage the temples – both heritage structures – desecrate the fires, and cause the wells to run dry, MMRC has said that no such damage would occur.

Last July, the MMRC had begun a search for a Parsi civil engineer to conduct pre-construction surveys on the temple premises as non-Parsis are not allowed inside. Pre-construction surveys are conducted prior to tunneling to check for possible vibrations once the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are lowered.

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