Save Our Sacred Fire Temple (Agiary): Unblock Sewage, Restore Sanctity

Why this petition matters

Started by Jehangir Bisney

The Commissioner
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC)

The Managing Director
Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB)

Dear Sirs,

We write to you in connection with sewage blockage crises afflicting the Bai Maneckbai Nusserwanji Chenoy Dar-e-Meher (Agiary-Fire Temple) at Tilak Road, Hyderabad. Besides being a place of historical, cultural and architectural significance (it was recognized with the HUDA Heritage Building Award in 2001); more importantly, in this 119 year old Agiary is housed a consecrated fire which is the source of veneration and worship for the Parsi community residing in Hyderabad & Secunderabad.

A consecrated fire is a living pulsating entity who radiates divine energy over long distances and provides spiritual succour and protection to those within its radius. An important and necessary adjunct to an Agiary is the water well in its premises from which water is drawn daily and used for ritual and cleanliness purposes. Infact, before constructing an Agiary, a water source is identified for the construction of a well. It is the site of the well that determines the architectural plan of the fire temple. Consequently, a polluted well brings the workings of a fire temple to a standstill and no ritual work can take place until the well is cleaned and made pure.

The Fire Temple complex also provides a home to 45 Parsi families encompassing over 100 individuals. However, the spiritual stature of the Agiary and the health and lives of the residents have been badly compromised since 2022 when their sewage line, laid over a century ago, was intentionally and unlawfully blocked by Santosh Dhaba, which shares the compound wall. The outlet having been blocked, the sewage water flows right back into the compound of the Agiary, polluting the well water, besides posing a serious health hazard to the residents who are forced to live in unhealthy circumstances and have to personally clean the sewage. Besides the health issues, it is also a sacrilege being committed and affecting the religious sentiments of the entire Parsi community.

Concerned individuals have been forced to raise the matter in the courts of law. While HMWSSB has committed to clearing the sewage by sending tankers, that definitely is not a solution to the problem. The municipal authorities are duty bound to provide adequate civic amenities to residents on a daily basis. Towards that end, you are urged to do all in your power to stop this health hazard and enforce upon Santosh Dhaba to clear the blocked sewage system to allow free outlet. That is within your sphere of authority.

You are well aware of the contribution of the Parsi Zoroastrian community to India. The community now looks upon you to alleviate its problems urgently and restore the sanctity of its holy Agiary and the health of the residents of the place.

Looking forward to a positive and quick action from your end.

Yours faithfully,

Jehangir Bisney

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