Mumbai: Worli fishermen protest against BMC’s coastal road activities

09:19 AM Oct 15, 2021 | Dipti Singh

Over 200 fishing boats from Worli Koliwada sailed the sea on Thursday to protest against the ongoing coastal road construction bridge between the coastal road and the Bandra-Worli sea link.

The Worli Koliwada fishermen alleged that the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) last week anchored three buoys in the fishing waters to facilitate the movement of their barges and tugboats in the areas, damaging their nets.


As a protest, fishermen surrounded the jetty built by the civic body for coastal road construction work. They refused to leave until the anchors’ buoys were removed. In contrast, the officials on the spot assured that the buoys would be shifted to an appropriate location by evening or the next day.


However, no development has happened yet, representatives from Worli Koliwada confirmed. Nitesh Patil, an artisan fisherman and director of Worli Koliwada Nakhwa Vyavsay Cooperative Society, alleged that no prior warning was given to them by the company or by the BMC before they dropped the anchors.

“The location is where we cast our nets. Since then, our nets have been damaged, and we have been unable to carry our fishing activities there. On October 8, we were told they would be creating temporary facilities to enable the movement of their barges and tugboats in our fishing water.

Not only this, but they also assured us that a detailed survey would be conducted to ensure the community don’t face any problems due to their activities,” Patil said. The officials asked us to give three alternate locations to anchor the buoys. “Almost 2-5 minutes away from the one now. However, by evening they did not agree to it and said it is far and away from their boundaries,” he said.

Another meeting between fisherfolk and BMC officials has been scheduled on the same issue. “We are left with no option but to consult our lawyer and take legal action if this goes on. We cannot lose on our livelihood in this way.” Shweta Wagh, an architect and urban conservationist said, “The damage being caused to their nets due to the movement of barges for the construction of coastal road connectors are seriously hampering their livelihood,” she said.

The Coastal Road-Sea Link connecting bridge threatens to cut off Cleveland Bunder in Worli from the sea entirely; the BMC has demanded the fishermen redesign it.

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