Mumbai: BJP MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar, on Friday, warned the Thackeray government to stop acting against the Koli community and work towards their upliftment. Taking a dig at the meeting convened on Thursday between the government, BMC officials and representatives from the Koli community, MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar said that the sons-of-the-soil have always been neglected and the government needs to work towards their upliftment.
MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar slammed the Thackeray government for holding meetings with the protesting fisherfolk on the Coastal Road Interchange project but ultimately doing what has already been planned. If you try to destroy our Koli brethren, be prepared to face dire consequences, warned BJP MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar.
MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar said that Mumbai has around 35 koliwadas and nearly 80 gaothans on its 110-km coastline. Some koliwadas like Dharavi and Sion have already lost their identity due to reclamation. The fisherfolk who are staying here for centuries, i.e even before the British set foot here are deprived of all the benefits which otherwise Mumbaikars even those migrated from other parts of the country are enjoying. Rules like CRZ and the lack of provisions in the development control regulations (DCR) make it difficult for them to construct better houses. Whereas people from other parts of the country are allowed to stay in pre-2000 slums.
The state government’s announcement of property tax waivers for houses up to 500 sq. feet will not benefit the Koli community. They did not receive any financial assistance after the cyclone. The BMC’s Rs 18,000 crore desalination project will act as a deterrent to these Koli and Agri community brethren. MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar warned the government of dire consequences if the government does not change its indifferent attitude towards the fisherfolk in Mumbai.