Mumbai: The fishing community in Worli has put up a stiff resistance to the BMC's food-on-wheels project, which aims at promoting tourism and hence generating employment for locals. The idea is to set up mobile eateries serving seafood in all Koliwadas, however, fisherfolk said that the project will be a threat to their means of livelihoods.
After a wait of two years, the BMC recently approved its food truck policy. Accordingly, the first two food trucks or stalls were to come up at the Macchimar Colony Koliwada, near Badhwar park followed by Worli and Mahim Koliwada. The civic body decided to rope in NGOs and local women self- help groups to operate the stalls.
Nitesh Patil: Why do they want to take away our place?
Nitesh Patil, Secretary of the Worli Koliwada Nakhwa Matsya Vyavsay Sahakari Society Ltd said, “The location, which the BMC has identified for the stalls, is the place were we keep our fish to dry and also carry out other work such as repairing of boats. Earlier, too, we have informed the civic officials that we will not allow them to implement the project at that spot. Why do they want to take away our place? If they still want to go ahead, they will have to first discuss with us.”
Royal Patil, Secretary of the Worli Macchimar Sarvoday Society said, “The BMC have identified a spot at the Cleveland Bunder Road, where we dry our fish, for the project. If the place is taken away, it will affect our business. The civic body can put stalls near taxi stands, which will also pull crowds. Instead of the project, they can provide us with basic facilities like cold storage and women toilets.”
Santosh Kumar Dhonde, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of the G-South ward, said, “The project was undertaken for their betterment so that they get good business. We had discussed the topic several times with the fishing community in Worli, but they don't want the project anywhere in Koliwada. We will again try to convince them.”