Locals mistake Mumbai kayaker for port surveyor at Nandgaon coast
When after setting sail on November 12, Kaustubh Khade, 29, reached Nandgaon coast in Boisar on Tuesday evening, locals mistook him as the surveyor for the controversial Wadhwan port in Dahanu.mumbai Updated: Dec 08, 2016 10:29 IST
Soon after his ardous 415-km solo trip from Mumbai to Goa in February 2015, a Mumbai-based kayaker is already on his next mission of kayaking from Kutch to Kanyakumari, a distance of 3,300 km. But when after setting sail on November 12, Kaustubh Khade, 29, reached Nandgaon coast in Boisar on Tuesday evening, locals mistook him as the surveyor for the controversial Wadhwan port in Dahanu. The project is receiving strong opposition from local fishermen. It took a lot of convincing but eventually the fishermen welcomed Khade with claps and encouragement.
Khade, a computer engineer from IIT-Delhi, stays in Mumbai and had finished his last solo kayaking trip to Goa in 17 days, and is now off to his next — Kutch to Kanyakumari or K2K, as Khade puts it. He is on a mission to spread awareness about kayaking and also volunteers for Magic Bus, an NGO for the underprivileged children in Mumbai. In the K2K expedition, he is accompanied by his girlfriend, Shanjali Shahi, who would be riding a Schwinn bicycle and their personal driver, Nitin Khotavadekar would be giving the “power” couple company.
Dhiraj Gawad, a resident of Nandgaon, said on Tuesday evening the locals found a car parked near the Nandgaon beach and a man was peering at the Arabian Sea with a pair of binoculars (later identified as Khotavadekar) and soon a man (Kaustubh Khade) on the kayak arrived at the shore. Later, a woman cyclist (Shanjali Shahi) arrived at the spot. “We were quite suspicious of the trio and we mistook them as a survey team that had come to Wadhwan in Dahanu for the proposed Rs 30,000 crore and 30-berth port, in a bid to decongest the JNPT and Mazgaon ports said Gawad. Just a few days ago the team had come to conduct survey for the port and we had protested and stopped it,” said Hitendra Naik,another resident.
The locals began asking them questions and Khade eventually convinced them that he was a kayaking sportsman and was on a 3,300 km trip from K2K but the locals insisted on some identification papers, said Naik.
Later, his car driver showed them the NOC from Prashant Burdhe,IG,Konkan Range who gave Khade permission to kayak in the western coast in the Konkan Range and then they were convinced finally,said Gawad.
Khade began his Kutch trip from Dwarkar and paddled his way to Porbander, Madhopur, Okha-Mandi, Mangrol, Verawal, Somnath,Surat in Gujarat and landed at Nandgaon coast in Palghar on Tuesday evening. He left for Uttan,Bhayander on Wednesday morning.
During the Mumbai-Goa trip in February 2015, Khade earned an entry in to the Limca Book of Records as the longest solo sea kayaking in the country. I also earned Rs 67,000 through crowd funding for my NGO, Magic Bus, he said.