Mumbai gold unit owners oppose plan to shift out of Kalbadevi-Zaveri Bazaar 

On Monday, a resident of Bhuleshwar Harkishen Goradia complained to Fadnavis that the area was a ticking a time bomb due to the massive violations in fire safety norms.

mumbai Updated: Jan 09, 2018 23:21 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,gold units,kalbadevi
On Monday, a resident of Bhuleshwar Harkishen Goradia complained to Fadnavis that the area was a ticking a time bomb due to the massive violations in fire safety norms.(FILE)

Owners of the gold units in Kalbadevi-Zaveri Bazar area are against the state government’s move to shift their units out of the area. Their contention: it is not feasible for the 2 lakh artisans and the security of the trade.

They were responding to the directions by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to shift these units out of the congested Kalbadevi area, as it could prove to be a health hazard.

Rajaram Shinde, president, goldsmiths coordination committee, said, “This a manufacturing hub as 70 % of the gold in India is produced here. How can anyone just shift us arbitrarily. We have been here for generations from the past 200 years and we are complying with all safety norms. This will be a terrible loss to the state exchequer.”

On Monday, a resident of Bhuleshwar Harkishen Goradia complained to Fadnavis that the area was a ticking a time bomb due to the massive violations in fire safety norms. He said residents were facing health issues because of the toxic fumes emitted by these units. Fadnavis asked the BMC to issue notices and shift them within the next three months.

There are more than 40,000 such units which are operating from 80-100 square feet houses in small chawls. A majority of the artisans hail from West Bengal, followed by Maharashtrians, north Indians and Gujaratis. To make a gold ornament it has to go through various stages like dyeing, soldering, polishing and others and each unit does one specific task.

The Mumbai Jewellers Association said such shifting without an alternative plan would be counter-productive. “This issue concerns the livelihood of 2 lakh people and the government needs to create a special infrastructure to accommodate them,” said Kumar Jain, vice-president, Mumbai Jewellers’ Association.

Currently these units are located in the radius of 3km —Kalbadevi-Bhuleshwari, Dhanji Street, Gulal wadi, Zaveri Bazar and Dagina Bazar. “Currently, it is easier to transport the gold as all shops are nearby. Any move to shift these units will then involve giving security to these units,” he added.

First Published: Jan 09, 2018 23:20 IST