The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), which is constructing the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 line, has a curious task on its hands. It is currently on the hunt for a ‘Parsi civil engineer’ to conduct a pre-construction structural survey for the underground metro corridor.
Reason? The alignment of the underground Metro-3 corridor at Chira Bazar in south Mumbai runs parallel to a Parsi fire temple. The HP Wadia trust, managing the fire temple, has asked MMRC officials to find a ‘Parsi civil engineer’ for conducting the survey from inside the temple as non-Parsis are not allowed inside the Parsi fire temple.
The trust has conveyed to MMRC that a non-Parsi civil engineer will not be allowed to enter the fire temple. This in accordance with the prevailing rituals of the Parsi community, they have said, sending MMRC officials into a tizzy.
The MMRC is going to start with the tunnelling work for the underground corridor in October, for which tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will be shipped from China from July onward.
Considering that the tunneling work is likely to result in vibrations, the MMRC is carrying out a pre-construction survey.
“In this survey we will conduct, for every structure, we will prepare a report that will specify the structural strength of the same. In future, if there are any claims relating to tenants or structure owners blaming MMRC for cracks in their structure, we will be able to respond to them accordingly on the basis of the report.”
“For the Parsi fire temple at Chira Bazar in Marine Lines, we have been asked by the fire temple’s trust to find a Parsi civil engineer in case we want to carry out a survey from inside the temple. Due to this, we at MMRC, are also looking for one Parsi civil engineer and have also asked the trust to find a Parsi civil engineer,” said a MMRC official, who did not wish to be named.
The official added, “We have carried out survey on the external structure of the temple, but we need to go in to check its stability and the condition, as that will help us while we drill underground for the tunnel.”
Khurshed Mistry, Secretary, HP Wadia trust, told DNA, “We have already given pictures of our fire temple from outside. We cannot allow any non-Parsi inside the temple, be it an engineer or any layman. We are cooperating with the MMRC officials, but keeping the sentiments of our community in mind, we cannot allow non-Parsis inside the fire temple.”
The fire temple is located near the Girgaon Metro station of the Metro-3 corridor that will have 27 underground stations and will be a crucial north-south link. The metro corridor will connect major Central Business Districts (CBD) such as Nariman Point, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Seepz in Andheri. The whole corridor is expected to be commissioned in 2022.