Jai Shree Krishna,
It has been some time since we gave you an update on our Building Project and a lot has happened that we would like to report to you.
As you know we have set up a Project Board for this. Members of the Project Board are BSNL Trustees, Office Bearers and co-opted experts. The Project Board is organised in three main strands – Planning & Construction under Dr Sharadbhai Mehta – Finance & Funding under Mr Harendrabhai Rawal – Communications & Control under Mrs Vandanaben Joshi.
We have been meeting regularly as the Project Board – at least once per month and more often when required – to develop and progress our building planning application with our architect and Brent Council Planning Department – and are taking help from our local Councillors, Cllr John Detre and Cllr Haribhai Patel as required. Both these Councillors have been extremely supportive to us. In spite of our best efforts, we have not succeeded in getting planning permission for our new building yet. But we are not discouraged by this as we all know that it can take a long timeand there is a lot involved.
Recently we had a setback when our architect,Mr Sujitji Saddle, requested tobe released from our project due to other pressures of work on him but we decided to turn this setback into an opportunity to appoint a new architect with a strong track record in getting planning permission in challenging situations and I am very happy to report that we were very lucky to find and appoint our new architect, Mr Amrishbhai Patel.You may know that Mr Amrishbhai Patel has a very impressive track record – he was the architect who designed and got planning permission for the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden and he was also the architect who designed and got planning permission for the Krishna Avanti School in Edgware. He has many other successes under his belt; and what is more is that he has volunteered his personal and professional services to BSNL entirely for free. He believes strongly in helping Hindu communities. We are very grateful to him for joining our team and feel confident that we now stand a much better chance of getting planning permission for our new building very soon.
The Project Board will be working very closely with Amrishbhai – revising our concept and approach as required to maximise our chances of success with Brent Planners and without undue compromises.
We all want a building that will meet our requirements and will reflect our Brahmin values, traditions and culture – a building which is a true Brahm Samaj – a building that will facilitate our members’ ceremonies and functions – a building that will help deliver our constitutional objectives of promoting Hindu
religion, imparting education and relief of poverty.
On the financial side, we have prepared our business plan and discussed the possibility of a substantial loan with two banks – who are both prepared to loan us the money. We are also investigating availability of grants and will be applying for these when the time comes. And our BSNL Management Committee has been busy planning several fund raising programmes which we hope you will support generously.
Next time you come to BSNL House you will notice that the council has erected a pedestrian crossing near our building which has reduced the number of on-street parking spaces but please note that it could have been worse had we not objected so strongly and agreed a modified scheme with the council.
We have a dream to make an iconic building in London that Brahmins all over the world will be proud of and with your support we will make this dream come true.
We will keep you posted on progress.
Har Har Mahadev,
Mr Vinod Mehta
Trustee & Chair of BSNL Building Project Board