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Maharashtra: Fishers relieved after courts pause the coastal road project by Nikhil S. Dixit August 14,2019   |  Source: Mongabay

Fifty-two-year-old Moreshwar Namdeo Koli is a fisherman whose family has been fishing in the Arabian sea off the Mumbai coast for the past three generations. His is among the 15,000 families of the Koli community, considered the original inhabitants of Mumbai, who stay along the coast of western Mumbai and are living with the sword of the upcoming coastal road project hanging over their necks.

The 35-kilometre-long road along Mumbai’s western coast threatens the livelihood of the fishermen as it would block their access to the sea and deplete the fish stock that they have been dependent on for decades. A temporary relief of sorts for the community, however, came on July 16, when the Bombay High Court passed an order to stop the ongoing work on the coastal road with immediate effect as the environment clearances taken were not in accordance with the requisite procedures. The court directed the project authorities to seek appropriate environment clearance along with wildlife clearance. The state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have appealed in the Supreme Court against the high court’s order. The case is now pending in the apex court.

“We are happy that the court has stayed the work on this project. Now, we are hoping that proper justice is


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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)