MMRDA's Gorai tourism project runs into trouble
Those who were waiting to go on fishing tours or visit mangrove parks in the coastal belt of Gorai, Manori and Uttan might need to put their plans on hold.mumbai Updated: Dec 12, 2011 01:50 IST
Those who were waiting to go on fishing tours or visit mangrove parks in the coastal belt of Gorai, Manori and Uttan might need to put their plans on hold.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's (MMRDA) plans of turning a 45 sq km area around the Gorai, Manori, Uttan built into a tourism and recreation zone has met with fierce opposition from residents of the area, who say that they could lose their livelihood and lifestyle as a result of the project.
Residents fear that the plan, and the resulting commercialization of the area will disrupt the way of the life in the eight villages in the belt.
They also say that it weighs heavily in favour of corporates who will set up business there, and ignores concerns of local residents.
"The MMRDA formed the plan without taking into confidence local residents. The commercialization that this plan will bring will completely ruin the way of life in the area," said Lourdes D'souza, secretary of the Dharavi Bet Bachao Samiti.
There are eight villages along this belt - Manori, Gorai, Uttan Dongri, Pali, Chowk and Tarodi.
MMRDA's plan envisages the complete transformation of this belt. It includes the construction of a bridge between Marve and Manori, and projects like a botanical garden, mangrove park, centres for water sports and model fishing villages.
"There is nothing for fisherman and farmers of the region in the plan. It favours corporates, who will be able to establish their business in the region," said Gordon D'souza, president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha said.
While the MMRDA has put its plan on display for public in its Bandra office and has invited suggestions and objections to the same, residents of these villages rarely venture into these parts of the city.
They allege that the plan was formulated without taking the local populace into consideration and have not taken any effort to involve them in it.
The agency officials, on the other hand, said that the plan has not yet been finalised, and that they are open to suggestions on how the proposal can be fine tuned.