Thousands of devotees eagerly awaiting the Bandra fair and Mother Mary’s birthday feast at Bandra’s Mount Mary Basilica are in for a surprise. Instead of the bamboo shed which has been erected every year for the last 26 years on the premises, a swanky metallic structure called ‘hanger’ will greet them this year.
The structure uses a new German technology, which made its entry to the country less than two years ago. It is still uncommon as only a few have been able to access it so far.
The rector, Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, Monsignor Nereus Rodrigues said, “The structure will be devotee-friendly. The idea was to get rid of the bamboo poles, which obstruct devotees’ view of Mother Mary. The new structure will allow people to get a clear view and listen to the prayers properly while attending Mass.”
Even though putting up the structure is an expensive process, Sunil Peter Solanki, the contractor entrusted with the job, is charging a paltry amount. “This is my way of paying respect to our Lady,” said Solanki, a devotee.
“The civic, police and fire safety officials insisted on a proper structure as typical mandaps have loopholes. It’s not only difficult to ensure foolproof security in such structures but the bamboo poles can also catch fire. The process, too, isn’t eco-friendly.”
He added, “Most importantly, the bamboo poles break the connect between the devotees and our Lady.”
According to Solanki, the structure is made up of an aluminium alloy, which is rust-resistant. “Moreover, the fabric covering the structure is heatproof. The fabric will also protect the devotees from rain and not disturb the proceedings with the pitter-patter sound of raindrops,” he assured.
“This year, we will keep all the gates open, unlike the previous years. We have already secured permission from the BMC and fire safety officials.”
Devotees were pleasantly surprised to hear about the new arrangement. Bandra resident Danica D’souza said, “It’s amazing to know that the church has been thinking about our comfort and trying to provide us with the best amenities.
This will not only give us a clear view of The Lady but will also make us secure and comfortable during Mass.”