Coastal Road: Fishermen Accuse Central Marine Institute of Giving ‘Inaccurate Information’ in its Study

Coastal Road: Fishermen Accuse Central Marine Institute of Giving ‘Inaccurate Information’ in its Study

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently used a study conducted by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) for its application with the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) seeking an amendment to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance towards the ambitious Coastal Road Project

The fishing community in Worli-Koliwada has now said that the study conducted by the CMFRI has provided “false and inaccurate information”. The CMFRI was tasked with conducting a detailed survey on the project’s impact on the livelihoods of the local fishing communities.

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The Coastal Road Project is a 10.58 Km stretch between Princess Street Flyover and the Worli portion of Sea Link. The civic body is undertaking this project at a cost of ₹12,700 crores.

The BMC originally received the permission for the reclamation of 90 hectares of space for the Coastal Road Project. However, the civic body sought an additional 21 hectares of space shortly after. 

The civic body’s data shows that it has reclaimed 64 hectares of space in regions like Worli, Haji Ali, and Priyadarshini Park as of October 15. It’s worth noting that the Worli Koliwada Nakhwa Matsyvavsay Sahakari Society Limited had written a letter to the MCZMA on November 2 saying that the aforementioned report had distorted facts. This contentious report was published in 2020 under the title ‘‘A baseline study on the impact of coastal road on fisheries and fisher livelihood.’

Also readCoastal Road Project: BMC Seeks An Additional 15 Hectares Of Space From The Sea

Nitesh Patil, who is a fisherman and a representative of the Nakhwa community said, “All information, photographs of boats and fish-catch taken during the survey, have been excluded from the report. The CMFRI report says that while the nearshore area is regularly fished, it is not considered as a major fishing ground due to lower fish abundance and low quality of large high-value fish. This is inaccurate, this shallow area near the coast is a high-value productive fishing ground, where deep-sea commercial fish come to breed.” 

“When the survey was conducted, people from CMFRI had given us forms to fill on the negative impact of the road project. All fishing community members have clearly written that they don’t want the coastal road. But now the CMFRI report has come up with some percentages and figures in its final report. I don’t know from where it got all these numbers,” Patil added.

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