Mumbai: The presence of Koliwadas and Kolis has been overlooked and they are marginalized sections, where city urbanization has eluded them. To see how the existing land use (ELU) plan, recently made public by the civic body, has impacted Koliwadas in Mumbai, Yuva, an NGO, along with the Maharashtra Machimar Kruthi Samiti, has found 70 errors in the mapping of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s ELU survey in 10 Koliwadas alone. The ELU map will help formulate the development plan (DP) of Mumbai in 2014.
The errors range from not mapping entire Koliwadas, as in the case of Malvani and Bhatti Koliwada, Malad (W), where they were marked as residential areas. In another case, Chimbai Koliwada is mapped as an informal settlement. In many other Koliwadas, informal settlements are interchanged with Koliwadas.
The survey is ignoring the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) notification of 2011 on Koliwadas. A major error is Koliwadas are not marked as Koliwadas or urban villages but they are marked as residential areas. Chimbai Koliwada is marked as a slum cluster. This will attract the builders’ lobby. If the DP moves on, and unfortunately Kolis don’t notice this, and it is approved, it will be a flawed DP. We are trying to address the issue that they are natives of the city and their culture and identity are important for the city, as Mumbai derives its name from their goddess Mumbadevi,” said Aarvind Unni, an architect with YUVA, an NGO that works for the urban poor.
The ELU survey also does not map formal and informal markets where Koli women play an active role. For example, in Khar Danda Koliwada, a civic fish market has not been mapped, as also Sassoon Dock, which is one of the biggest wholesale fish markets, has been shown as a transport node.
“It is very important that such markets be mapped in the ELU survey and be employed to recognize and formalize such informal markets in the coming DP,” said Unni.
The other major errors that have emerged from the study of the ELU survey are in the form of marking land parcels being used by the fishing community as ‘vacant’ or reserving them under some other use. But a lot of land is being used by the Koli community for fishing-related activity, like fish drying, net drying, place for keeping boats, sheds for maintenance and other ancillary uses related to fishing.
The ELU survey maps fishing-related activities as primary in the cases of Juhu and Worli Koliwada. “But in all other cases, it does not accurately map activities on the ground, thus giving a false picture of land parcels being vacant or not developed, which in reality has got deep socio-economic linkages with Koliwadas and the Koli community,” said Unni.
ELU SURVEY & ITS ERRORS
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s existing land use (ELU) plan has not mapped entire Koliwadas, as in the case of Malvani and Bhatti Koliwada, Malad (W), where the Koliwadas were not marked as a distinct area but as residential areas. In another case, Chimbai Koliwada is mapped as an informal settlement. In many other Koliwadas, informal settlements are interchanged with Koliwadas
Khar Danda Koliwada, a civic fish market, has not been mapped. Sassoon Dock, one of the biggest wholesale fish markets, is shown as a transport node
ELU survey is in the form of marking land parcels being used by the community as ‘vacant’ or reserving them under some other use. A lot of land is used by the community for fi shing-related activity
KOLIS, THEIR HISTORY AND AREAS INHABITED BY THEM
The Kolis were the earliest inhabitants of the archipelago, now known as Mumbai, dating back 400 years. They were members of the Kul tribe, which migrated at the beginning of the Christian era. There are 38 Koliwadas today. They survived periods of Hindu colonization in the 13th century, Muslim rule until the mid-16th century, colonization, and the development of modern Mumbai. The city’s original name comes from Mumbadevi, the patron deity of the Kolis
Source : TOI