As the restoration and beautification project of the historic Janjire Dharavi Fort in Uttan near Bhayandar continues to remain stuck in red tape, a group of heritage lovers have been dutifully visiting the fort to conduct ‘shram daan’ (voluntary cleaning service) every Sunday.
Owing to the apathy shown by various government agencies, the fort paints a sorry picture of utter neglect and irresponsible behaviour shown by visitors which led to unhygienic surroundings due to leftovers including empty liquor bottles.
State human rights commission had summoned officials
“Taking a suo-moto cognizance of media reports about the prevailing illegalities in the fort premises, the State Human Rights Commission had summoned the police commissioner and director of department of archaeological and museums on 13, January, 2023, the next hearing is scheduled to be held on 15, February,” said former municipal corporator and one of the volunteers- Rohit Suvarna.
Janjire Dharavi fort | Suresh Golani
CM had made provision of ₹10 crore for fort makeover
The heritage lovers under the aegis of the Janjire Dharavi Killa Jatan Samithi, not only clean graffiti and clear garbage, but are trying to take things further by making a conscious effort to restore the fort to its former glory.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had directed the tourism department to immediately disburse funds amounting ₹10 crore for the complete makeover of the fort in November, last year. However, the project awaits CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) clearance leading to inordinate delays.
Who was Chimaji Appa?
An able military commander who played an important role in liberating the western coast of India from Portuguese rule, the crowning glory of Chimaji Appa’s career was that he valiantly captured Vasai Fort in an intensely fought battle in 1739.
How Appa secured Vasai Fort
To secure Vasai Fort from sea invasions and to launch attacks in times of war, Appa built a ‘burj’ (watch-tower), kissing the Arabian Sea. To prepare a security audit report, senior police officials had visited the fort in December, 2022. The Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation has also made budgetary allocations of Rs 3 crore in the current fiscal for the proper maintenance of the fort.
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