After retiring from the Hindustan Unilever Limited, Tandel had become the Vice President of the Maharashtra Fisheries Corporation, from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), in 2002. He had later joined the Shiv Sena in 2014.
As a leader of fishermen, Tandel had taken up several issues for improving fishing infrastructure along Mumbai’s coastline. He had untiringly followed up on the inaction with regard to stopping the use of ecologically dangerous and banned fishing methods, such as the usage of purse seine nets and high-capacity LED lights.
Tandel was vehemently opposed to the construction of the Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) multi-crore coastal road project, taking both issues to court.
Tandel had urged the government to involve fishermen in the decision-making process for those projects that directly affected their livelihoods.
In 2016, he had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Pune, accusing the Maharashtra government, the Union Environment Ministry, the Mumbai Port Trust and the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) of getting environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances for the project without consulting local residents.
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