Last month, the fishermen body had written to CM Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya, seeking a meeting to discuss their concerns over the project. (Express photo by Pradip Das)
Fearing risk to their livelihood, fishermen from Worli Koliwada have urged state Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray to stop reclamation at Worli seaface for the ambitious Coastal Road project until the Supreme Court gives its final judgment. The fishermen have suggested that the road be supported on stilts, instead of the authorities pressing ahead with reclamation at Worli seaface, to minimise damage to active fishing zones.
The fishermen claimed that for more than a month, they were trying to meet Aaditya but there has been no response from his office. Aaditya, who is the youngest minister in the state cabinet, is also the MLA from Worli.
The Worli Koliwada Nakhawa Matsya Vyvsay Sahkari Society, which has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court against the reclamation, said they were not opposed to the project but only want the authorities to work with the community to arrive at sustainable alternatives that allows development while safeguarding biodiversity and the livelihood of fishermen.
Last month, the fishermen body had written to CM Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya, seeking a meeting to discuss their concerns over the project. “We had written on January 6 to Uddhav and Aaditya. On January 10, Aaditya came to Worli Koliwada for a festival. I met him and requested a meeting to discuss the damage caused by reclamation for the Coastal Road. He told me he had received the letter and they were discussing it with the chief minister and soon a meeting will be called,” said Nitesh Patil, a fisherman.
The Rs 12,000-crore Coastal Road will connect Princess Street flyover with the Worli-end of the Bandra-Worli sea link. The BMC will reclaim about 95 hectares of sea at Priyadarshini Park, Tata Garden, Haji Ali and Worli seaface. Work on the road was halted by the Bombay High Court in June last year. However, in December that year, the Supreme Court lifted the stay. Next hearing is in April.
Mumbai residents write to Aaditya
Fearing environmental impact from reclamation work, residents of South Mumbai too have written to Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray. Over 100 residents and activists have signed the letter.