Coastal Road Project: Interim relief for fishermen

Mumbai: In a temporary relief to city fishermen, the HC on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra government not to restrict them from fishing at the shores. The fisherfolks have approached the HC opposing the construction work of the ambitious 29.2 km coastal road. The proposed coastal road would run along the west coast of Mumbai and would be connecting Marine Drive to Kandivali.

A division bench led by Chief Justice Naresh Patil asked the authorities not to put barricades near the shores to block fishermen from carrying out their business. This comes after the petitioner for fishermen informed the bench of the authorities’ move of restraining them from carrying out their business. Having heard the contentions, the bench has asked the authorities including Mumbai Police and the BMC not to take any coercive action against fishermen.

During the course of the hearing, the BMC informed the bench that the fishermen’s association has already given an ‘No Object Certificate’ (NOC) to the authorities for proceeding with the reclamation work at the shores. This submission was vehemently opposed by the fishermen claiming it was not their association that gave the alleged NOC for the work. The bench has posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

The judges were seized with a petition, filed by residents of Worli Koliwada, alleging that the authorities did not consult the community before starting the project work in October 2018.

In their plea, the fishermen have further claimed that the reclamation work will make an adverse impact on the lives of the entire fisher, residing in areas such as Worli, Khar Danda, Chimbai and several other places between the Marine Drive in south Mumbai and Kandivali, a western suburb. The fishermen have also accused them aturhotieis for proceeding with the construction work without obtaining the requisite environment clearances.

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