Mumbai

Mumbai fish vendors threaten protest over BMC’s alleged bid to relocate them

Fish vendors ask for assurance that they will not be shifted from the market near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Airoli. | File

Fish vendors ask for assurance that they will not be shifted from the market near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Airoli. | File   | Photo Credit: Anthony Devlin

Say BMC did not seek their consent before approving DP

The Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti on Tuesday threatened to stage a protest on August 1 if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) fails to issue a letter by July 30 to fish vendors assuring them that they will not be shifted from the market near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Airoli.

On July 19, Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar had directed the BMC commissioner not to shift the vendors, but to provide them with a temporary space nearby till the market is redeveloped.

Damodar Tandel, president, Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti, accused the BMC of approving the 2034 development plan (DP) without taking the consent of the fish vendors. Mr. Tandel said, “The Mayor said the vendors will be relocated till the market is redeveloped. However, Sangeeta Hansale, assistant commissioner of the BMC’s market department, is saying that the BMC will build a 17-storey building where the market now stands. The BMC is just trying to mislead us and we won't let that happen.”

The samiti has written to the Chief Minister, but it has not yet received a response from him. Balwantrao Pawar, president, Mumbai Fresh Fish Dealers’ Association, said lakhs of people depend on the market for their livelihood. He said, “Bhaucha dhakka and Sassoon Dock are close to the market, which is located near Churchgate and CSMT. The market is now located at an accessible point and it will cause major inconvenience to people if it is shifted to Airoli. Small-scale fish vendors in the city will be affected the most.”

Sanjay Koli, general secretary, Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti, accused the State government of trying to convert Mumbai into a vegetarian city. He said, “The Kolis are the original inhabitants of the city and have been dependent on selling fish to earn a livelihood. We will raise our voice if the BMC decides to relocate us. The BMC will be solely responsible if the protest turns violent.”

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:27:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/fish-vendors-threaten-protest-over-bmcs-alleged-bid-to-relocate-them/article28693608.ece

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