The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has invited suggestions and objections for newly demarcated boundaries of 13 koliwadas in Mumbai. On October 2, the civic body published on its website plans for 13 koliwadas with maps giving a month’s time to citizens to submit their suggestions in writing to the BMC, which would be later forwarded to the revenue department for final rectifications.
The koliwadas are Charkop, Chimbai, Gorai, Juhu, Khardanda, Madh, Versova, Borivali, Mahul, Malvani, Turbhey, Bhatti and Manori. The fishermen’s community has pointed out that the authorities have failed to mark open space for future extension of these koliwadas. Community leaders have said that they would soon file their views on these plans.
Koliwadas are commonly recognised as areas where native inhabitants (fishermen) of Mumbai are traditionally located. While the final Development Plan (2014-34) of the city was approved in 2018, koliwada, gaothan and adivasi pada areas were not included as there were no available land records to identify the exact area and extent of these areas. To delineate the boundaries and their extent, the state revenue department had set up a committee.
Fishermen community leader Rajhans Tapke has said that the plans have not mentioned open spaces available around these koliwada as it is important for future extensions. “The state government rules say that while preparing development plan of gaothans and villages they should leave space for future extensions. However, this has not been done in Mumbai. Kolis are original inhabitants of the city and they are living here since ages,” said Tapke.
He said, “Anticipating the future growth in population of kolis, authorities should leave that much open space to allow extension. But in these plans the revenue department has failed to do so. Government has already handed over fishermen’s land for development to various agencies, at least now they should keep some space for our extension.”
Earlier, the government had stirred a controversy after many koliwadas were marked as slums and their redevelopment was planned under SRA scheme. Worli Koliwada, for instance, was marked as a slum but later the decision was reverted after protests. Similarly, Sion-Koliwada is also tagged as slums.
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