Four traditional fishing boats, also called gillnet fishing boats, and fishing equipment such as nets and the gear for repair of nets as well as boats parked at the jetty at Cuffe Parade Koliwada in Badhwar Park in south Mumbai were gutted in a fire at 2 am on Tuesday. Two other boats were considerably damaged in the fire as well.
According to fishermen, this will affect the livelihood of 25 to 30 families from Koliwada.
The Machhimar Sarvodaya Sahakari Society Cuff Parade, Colaba (Budhwar Park) on Tuesday wrote to the Maharashtra government, seeking compensation for the financial losses, and funds to repair and restore the boats and fishing equipment.
Bhuvaneshvar Dhananu, who heads the society, said, “The boats were docked at the jetty for repair, because they cannot be taken out at sea at present. There is hardly any fish in the sea due to the construction work along the western coast of Mumbai (for Coastal Road project), and long hours of fishing do not yield any catch. Winters are also lean periods for fishing.”
State fisheries department officials conducted a panchanama of the damage caused to the boats and equipment. The Machhimar Society has now written to Sudhir Mungantiwar, minister for forests, cultural affairs, and fisheries, informing him of the incident and requesting compensation.
A senior official from the fisheries department said, “We have taken note of all the damage caused due to the fire and will also investigate the cause of the fire. However, this is unlikely to have any bearing on the decision to compensate the fishermen for their loses. A decision of compensation will be taken by the government soon.”