08 Quest of Faith - Vincent J Pereira

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:45 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:46 AM ]
Historical review of a well at Dahisar West

Much before the stone-throwing incident on the Immaculate Conception Church at Borivli West, on the feast night of December 1971, there already existed a well in the area of Kandarpada , Dahisar West, Mumbai. A well that was a source of water to all the neighbouring hamlets and clans that resided in its vicinity; even through the scorching heat of those summers, the water never ran dry in this well. This certainly was a "Good Samaritan Well" to its surroundings.

Not only were the residents provided by water from this well, but it was also a watering hole for thirsty animals drawing different carriages, carts, tongas, even "Victorias" that came from the island city of Bombay (now Mumbai) and from Esplanade House near Colaba who often visited the military guesthouse in Ghodbunder village, used mainly by the glamorous sections of the city and by soldiers of the Royal Armed forces as they rode past this well. This was because the next watering hole was seven miles further North, near the Ghodbunder Army Barracks, a place called Padmali. To this day, this much neglected pond exists along with a wayside Cross, stating historical evidence of the use and grandeur of its time. The "Good Samaritan Well" had great significance, even connecting the existing Portuguese fort at Ghodbunder (presumed to be a strategic navigation station in its time) and the existing Portuguese Watchtower at the Franciscan brothers' monastery at Borivli (West), both points vital for the Portuguese Administration.

There used to be a triangular milestone on the bank of the Dahisar river along this road stating "Borivli - 3 miles" which was very near to this Good Samaritan well, that tells us that this was an intercity road, for sure a major road in status.

The road later got isolated after the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) (now Western Railway) laid the railway lines, and created a level crossing after the Borivli Railway Station and the Dahisar subway in 1856. All traffic to Ghodbunder got diverted through this level crossing for convenience, as there also used to be a watering hole opposite Borivli railway station at Chikalwadi, along the now L.T. Road. However, this Good Samaritan well continued to be a source of water supply to the locals, until the neighbouring areas were connected by municipal water lines which was the final blow to its fall in popularity.