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Parsi Gate Relocated 75 Metres Away From Original Spot; Installation Process To Conclude By July 15

The rehabilitation work is anticipated to be completed before the monsoon season, and one of the two pillars has already been moved to the new location.

Parsi Gate Relocated 75 Metres Away From Original Spot; Installation Process To Conclude By July 15
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A new location has been decided to rebuilt the famous and century-old Parsi Gate at Marine Drive in Mumbai, which was relocated due to the building of the Dharmveer Swarajya Rakshak Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Marg, also known as the Coastal Road. It is 75 metres away from the original site.

The rehabilitation work is anticipated to be completed before the monsoon season, and one of the two pillars has already been moved to the new location.

A senior official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that the construction of the seaside steps is close to completion. By disassembling one pillar, we were able to move it to the location. Experts in conservation are closely monitoring the work. Five to six stone ridges are joined to form each pillar, which has a weight of approximately five to six tonnes. Every ridge is being taken out individually, transported to the new position, and then put back together to make the pillar again.

Restoration work overseen by conservation experts is expected to be concluded by July 15. The multifaith religious place dates back to before independence and is particularly significant to the Parsi and Zoroastrian communities in Mumbai. It was built before Marine Drive, which was built between 1915 and 1916 on the site of the former Kennedy Sea Face by Pallonji Mistry and philanthropist Bhagoji Keer.

The Parsi Gate was constructed with stone stairs between two five-meter-tall columns of finely carved Malad stone with Zoroastrian patterns. The purpose of the steps was to allow access to the beach, now known as Chhota Chowpatty, where Mumbaikars could make their prayers and offerings to the sea. 

Hindus have been utilising the secure entrance to submerge offerings on Poornima Day and to do the same with ashes from the Chandanwadi crematorium near Marine Lines, while Zoroastrians in Mumbai have been paying their homage to Avan Yazad, Angel of Water, at the Parsi Gate for almost a century. 

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the Mumbai Coastal Road Project in 2016 classified the structure as a place of worship. Consequently, the BMC made the decision to dismantle it and move its occupants to a new location approximately 75 metres away. The removal of the Gate constructions in April 2021 caused a ruckus among Parsi-Zoroastrians.

The choice sparked a number of petition drives, and in 2020, local resident Havovi M. Sukhadwala created an online petition on Change.org titled "Save the Parsi Gate," which attracted over 7,600 signatures in support. The Parsi Gate is classified as a Heritage Grade IIA structure by legislation, meaning that any alterations made to it must be carefully considered and should be "deserving intelligent conservation." Sukhadwala brought up the issue of its meticulous restoration in the appeal, pointing out that the definition also stipulates that care would be taken to ensure the conservation of all special aspects for which it is included in Heritage Regulations for Greater Bombay 1995.

Sukhadwala said that following conversations with the Parsi community, a shortlist and final design for the new site were created. In order to allow access from the other side of the road, a traffic signal has also been positioned a short distance from the new location. The road canopy would have blocked views of the columns from across the road, therefore the Gate had to be moved.

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