Five fishing boats belonging to the members of the Vanchit Macchimar community were damaged on Wednesday due to the high tide of the sea. However members of the community have blamed the civic body and the ongoing coastal road project for their loss.
To facilitate the ongoing reclamation at the Haji Ali bay, on-site engineers of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have dismantled the hangars at the Lotus Jetty where the fisherfolk used to park their boats. Now the fishermen have to park their boat in the shallow waters, 500 metre way from the Lotus Jetty and the jetty area is now being filled with boulders and stones. The fishermen claimed, due to the heavy water current the boats collided with boulders and were damaged.
"Now that we don't have any hangar, we leave our boats in the shallow water, when the tide came, the boats got carried away and collided against the boulders" Allaudin Niyaz Khan told FPJ. Khan is the chairperson of Vanchit Macchimar Haji Ali Sahakari Sanghathana - an apex body of the fishermen community at Haji Ali.
According to the fishermen, total five boats were damaged completely and few other boats were also affected partially. They said about 40 boats are being parked now at the Haji Ali Bay regularly.
Khan said it will cost them minimum Rs 20 lakh to repair all the boats and the fishermen further informed, due to the coastal road project the fishes have migrated towards the deep sea water, this has heavily affected their livelihood as they don’t have the logistics to go fishing at the deep sea. "We are not against any development projects but the state needs to provide us with any alternative at least" stated a fisherfolk.