Mumbai: Metro 3 threatens holy well; Parsis want line shifted


By Hemal Ashar |

The Bhikha Behram Well, one the city’s oldest sunken sweet water sources, Grade I heritage structure and holy to the Parsis, near Cross Maidan and Churchgate, may be threatened by the Metro Rail Line 3 plan.

There is some trepidation that the digging of the tunnel, for the Metro Rail Line 3, may drain out water from the sub-soil completely.

This well was built in 1725 by Bhikha Behram to thank the almighty for sparing his life after the Marathas who were at war with the Sultans of Gujarat mistook him for a Muslim, (he showed his sureh-kusti and was finally set free). It is one of the few Parsi wells in the city, which has one entrance for community members and another for non-Parsis to draw water.

With a rich history, it has a strong sentimental pull for the community, as well as of course, great religious significance. Now, the trustees of the well have raised significant concerns that the proposed Mumbai Metro Rail Line 3 is going to pass very close to the holy well.

Subsequently, they say that the depth of the well water will be adversely affected, as there is going to be excavation for the Metro 3 line. They commissioned Dr Rama Krishna, Powai geologist, to conduct an investigation report. Says Dr Krishna, “I made an investigative report, about 1.5 months ago. I had concerns because the digging for the tunnel of the metro line was going to be around 12 – 18m.

Though the central line of excavation would pass about 50 ft (15 m) from the well, it will affect the well. There is bound to be a drop in the water level.” More info