27 structures in Cuffe Parade Koliwada to be demolished for Colaba-Cuffe connector
They are a mix of residential, commercial and common-use structures. Six of them are temporary tin sheds of varying size used to mend fishing nets and park other equipment, one is a ground plus zero (G+0) structure, 17 are ground plus one (G+1) structures and one is a ground plus two (G+2) structure
Mumbai: According to a preliminary assessment by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), around 27 structures in Cuffe Parade Koliwada will have to be razed to make way for a proposed 1.6km-long, four-lane coastal bridge connecting Nariman Point with Colaba and Cuffe Parade. Most of the structures (other than a police chowky) are all owned and used by artisan fishers who ply their trade from the Koliwada (also known as Machimaar Nagar).
They are a mix of residential, commercial and common-use structures. Six of them are temporary tin sheds of varying size used to mend fishing nets and park other equipment, one is a ground plus zero (G+0) structure, 17 are ground plus one (G+1) structures and one is a ground plus two (G+2) structure. An existing open space which is used by the fishers to park boats, and occasionally mend nets and sort their catch, will also be subsumed under the alignment of the bridge, whose cost is currently estimated at ₹317.94 crores.
“These structures are all part of Cuffe Parade Koliwada. To compensate for the fishers’ loss, they will also be provided with a separate boat parking area and a new fish landing jetty that we will construct at our cost. The land use is very mixed. In some structures, for example, there is a shop or marketplace on the ground floor but the upstairs floors are used for residential,” said Siddharth Gondhale, deputy transportation planner, MMRDA.
MMRDA officials emphasized that, as per the detailed project report (DPR) prepared for this development, a definitive count of affected structures will be finalized after more detailed ground assessment and consultation with the MMRDA’s Fisherfolk Validation Committee, which was formed in 2015 pursuant to relief and rehabilitation efforts necessitated due to the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link on artisan fishers operating in the Thane Creek area.
Devendra Tandel, a resident of Machimaar Nagar and president of the Akhil Maharashtra Machimaar Kruti Samiti, said, “We are strongly opposed to this project which severely hinder the ability of our small community to fend for itself. Legal action will definitely be taken against MMRDA. We have seen the impact of projects like the Coastal Road and MTHL on fishing communities, so there is all the more reason to be worried. There are multiple other alignments which the MMRDA has considered, and which will have less impact on us. Why can’t a straight bridge be constructed from Nariman Point to Navy Nagar? This will be much faster and will have little to no impact on the koliwada’s residents.”