Maharashtra government’s plans to ease coastal rules worries fishing community
According to the Gaothan expansion scheme of the state government, gaothans and Koliwadas are entitled to expand the boundaries of their locality by 200 metres every 10 years.mumbai Updated: Apr 12, 2018 10:36 IST
As Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeks approval from the central government to tweak the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2011, the fishing community is worried about the plans.
When the notification was amended in 2011, it gave the state government or parasternal bodies – which could include BMC, MMRDA or SRA, among others – the stake over 51% of the redevelopment plan. However, with the new proposal, private stakeholders, who will develop the area will get a higher stake, while that of the government’s will be reduced.
“Even when the amendment was introduced in 2011, we had objected to the proposal. One cannot have development in Koliwada as the cluster redevelopment follows near the coastal areas, and rights over our ancestral property is eventually threatened,” said Dinesh Suresh, chairman, Juhu Koliwada Moragaon Gaothan Vistaar Samiti.
Suresh said that they require open spaces around their houses for fishing activities. He said reclamation and construction in coastal areas damages the environment, and will lead to the change in provisions for them because their Koliwada falls under CRZ 3 (less developed Koliwada in terms of infrastructure).
Prabhakar Gawde of Juhu Tara Koli Samaj Matsyudyog Sahakari Sangh, who had earlier objected to a metro casting yard being built around Juhu Koliwada, said that development activities carried out by government affect indigenous people.
“We have been demanding demarcation of Koliwadas, so that we don’t face the issue of encroachment on our land. The government wants to take away salt pans and affect the livelihood of people there and build houses for encroachers on that land,” said Gawde.
According to the Gaothan expansion scheme of the state government, gaothans and Koliwadas are entitled to expand the boundaries of their locality by 200 metres every 10 years.
In this case, the community has been questioning the government’s motive of seeking approval for redevelopment in their area, while they have been demanding the expansion and reconstruction rights of their houses.
“The move is just to support the builders lobby, and make their projects viable because the proposal is not in public interest and koliwadas cannot be considered under SRA scheme. Any project that will come by sea side will fetch builders a premium,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, Watchdog Foundation.