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Fitzgerald fount restoration gets traffic dept’s nod

THE ASIAN AGE. | BHAGWAN PARAB
Published : Nov 13, 2017, 1:22 am IST
Updated : Nov 13, 2017, 1:24 am IST

Earlier it was located at the junction flanked by Metro Cinema and Kyani Bakery.

The BMC had invited bids for the restoration project, for which only one bidder has responded.
 The BMC had invited bids for the restoration project, for which only one bidder has responded.

Mumbai: The final hurdle in the restoration of Fitzgerald Fountain near Metro Cinema junction has finally been cleared, as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received permission from the city traffic police for the project.

The Fitzgerald Fountain and its lamp post, which was erected in 1867, were one of the several relics of the British Raj, which were removed as a part of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement in the 1960s.

The civic body has decided to re-install it at the triangular island opposite the Vasudeo Balwant Phadke Statue on Mahapalika Marg at Metro junction. Earlier it was located at the junction flanked by Metro Cinema and Kyani Bakery.

According to civic officials, after receiving clearance from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee last year, the BMC was awaiting permission from the traffic police, who have issued a no-objection certificate (NoC) to them.

The BMC had invited bids for the restoration project, for which only one bidder has responded. “Our main condition for the work was that the bidder should have a memorandum of understanding with a sculptor. We are now evaluating the project bid with the help of a consultant. If he approves it, a work order will be issued. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 2.24 crore,” said a senior civic official.

Noted conservation architect Pankaj Joshi said, “It is one of the most significant cast-iron monuments that have major historical value. There was only another such fountain in the world — the Captain Samuel T. Shepherd Fountain at North Hampton, Britain. However, it was demolished in the seventies. So this one remains the only surviving example of this particular type. It was brought in pieces and assembled here. We will have to again disassemble, restore and reinstate it, which is a huge task.”

About its history

The 35-foot-high fountain bears the engraving: ‘In honour of the right honourable Sir Seymour Fitzgerald K.C.S.I, the Governor of Bombay by the Esplanade committee.’ He governed the city from 1867 to 1872.

Tags: bmc, british raj, fitzgerald fountain