Fisherfolk from Worli-Koliwada disrupt Mumbai coastal road project work once again

Fisherfolk from Worli-Koliwada disrupt Mumbai coastal road project work once again
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Mumbai’s much-anticipated coastal road project has once again faced issues, this time as the fisherfolk from Worli-Koliwada disrupted the work for the 11th time. As per reports, the protest was held on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, and this has been repeated time and again, since September 20, 2021. It is being said that the fisherfolk were also given warnings about legal actions, despite which the protest was conducted. Earlier protests were stopped by the civic body, however, they have repeatedly conducted protests against the project.

A notice was issued asking them to stop the interference in the project and Worli Police had given the same. This was issued on Monday, December 20, 2021, as per Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Code, however, the protests were carried for approximately eight hours on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Protestors have stopped the contractors from performing any work on the project at the southern end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and have said that the same would continue if the work resumed. A report regarding the same was published in the Hindustan Times, which quoted the notice message sent to the secretary of the Worli-Koliwada Matsyavyavsay Sahakari Sangathan, Nitesh Patil. The message read, “You and your colleagues are frequently disrupting the ongoing work of the coastal road project by carrying out fishing activities near Cleveland Bunder in violation of orders. In future, if you and your colleagues reunite and disrupt the work of the Coastal Road project and create law and order problems, you will be held fully responsible and will be prosecuted.”

Responding to the notice, Patil mentioned that a meeting was held last month with Fisheries Minister Aslam Sheikh who understood the concerns, however, no meeting was then scheduled with CM Uddhav Thackeray and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, as promised. Despite the assurance and failed promises, the protest was stopped, however, there seems to be no information about the meeting, and the notice sent by the police is concerning. Patil expressed that there was no other means to raise the demands as no official is able to understand the concerns and acknowledge them.

A total of more than 15 fishing boats and more than 24 fishermen were present at the protest, in the waters, on Tuesday. They prevented municipal corporation’s vessels and officials to begin any construction work stopped BMC’s passenger vessel, five tugboats and coastal police’s two boats. They have mentioned that no work will be accepted until a solution is sought regarding a redesign.

No officials reached the location or have commented regarding the matters, and this has now been escalated to the state government. Data reveals that a loss of approximately INR 8 crore has been incurred, over the last two months, due to the protests.

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