Mumbai: BMC grants permission for Koli festival at Worli

After a mid-day report and the additional municipal commissioner’s intervention, the civic body, which allegedly refused it before, will now allow the festival at the Sea Face

Food and culture aficionados can rejoice again. After mid-day’s report on the BMC’s alleged refusal to grant permission to a Koli festival, and the additional municipal commissioner’s intervention, the civic body has granted permission for the Worli Sagari Koli Mahotsav.

The festival will give the Koli community another platform to showcase their food and culture. File Pic for representation
The festival will give the Koli community another platform to showcase their food and culture. File Pic for representation

The G/South ward office and zonal deputy municipal commissioner had allegedly refused permission to the festival without giving any reason for doing so. However, newly appointed Additional Municipal Commissioner, Vikas Kharge, has given the go-ahead for this year’s festival.

mid-day’s October 11 report on the issue
mid-day’s October 11 report on the issue

The festival will be held at Worli Sea Face from October 30 to November 2. Sagari Koli Mahotsav Samiti president, Abhijit Patil, thanked mid-day for carrying the report, after which, he says, the authorities relented.

Time to celebrate
This paper had published the report, (‘Oh fish! BMC refuses to grant permission to Worli Koli festival’) on October 11. Patil said, “The Koli community is happy, as now they will be able to organise the festival at Worli Sea Face.

Kolis feel the sea is an integral part of their life; their welfare depends on the sea. We are thankful to Kharge for allowing and and encouraging the festival.” The festival started in 2013, and that year, 35 food stalls were put up. Thousands of people had attended the cultural programmes and enjoyed the Koli cuisine.

When asked how authorities granted permission, a BMC officer said,“There was only a delay in permission; we had not refused it. Now, after the procedure was followed, we have decided to grant permission.” The festival this year has 30 stalls which will sell different types of Koli dishes. Koli dances will also be performed.

The 2013 edition saw more than 500 participants from the Koli community, who came from Worli, Mahim, Versova, Colaba, Sewri, Mahul and Madh koliwadas. The festival is a platform for one of Mumbai’s oldest communities to showcase their food and culture.

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