Brewing discontent among some fishermen in Mahim has unwittingly engaged a Shiv Sena section head in a clash with a senior Shiv Sena leader’s son.
Sena vibhag pramukh Sada Sarvankar has taken it upon himself to fight a battle on behalf of some locals from Fishermen’s Colony in Mahim who are unhappy with the offer a builder has made them for their property, as part of a redevelopment deal. What’s remarkable, though, is that in siding with the fisherfolk he has pitted himself against the builder, who is incidentally the son of Sena veteran Manohar Joshi.
On Monday Sarvankar said he received the fishermen who complained to him that they were unhappy with the redevelopment deal offered by Kohinoor, the firm which is redeveloping nearly 22 buildings housing 1,040 tenants. Kohinoor is run by Manohar Joshi’s son Umesh Joshi.
For his part, Sarvankar has told the fishermen that he will fight on their behalf, and has promised action against Kohinoor. “Most tenants of the colony are fishermen and they told me that they are getting smaller houses as part of the redevelopment deal when they should be given bigger homes. As the kolis have always supported the Sena, we will support them in their time of need because they are justified in asking for bigger houses,” said Sarvankar.
Asked if he had any apprehensions in standing up to the party veteran’s son who runs Kohinoor, the firm behind the project, Sarvankar said, “We aren’t scared of anyone. We will fight with any builder, who’s not giving the locals their full due. We know who we are standing against and would continue doing so. We are fighting for the rights of the people, and we support the locals.”
Locals in the colony are asking that the builder give them more than 525 sq ft area in an apartment while the builder apparently has offered 484 sq ft. They are demanding for a corpus of Rs 40 lakh as opposed to the offered Rs 10 lakh. Lastly, they want the rent for temporary stay (until redevelopment) to be hiked to Rs 30,000 per month from Rs 15,000 currently on the table.
One of the residents, who didn’t wish to be named, said many in the colony are opposed to the redevelopment offer and not the project per se. “Even we want the redevelopment to take place. We would be happy if the builder gives us what we are expecting. We know the builder also wants to make a profit but when he’s going to get more, he should give us more too,” the resident said.
Kohinoor head Unmesh Joshi said, “Some 80 percent residents of the colony have given us their consent. The people raising a hullabaloo are the ones who are unauthorised owners. Sarvankar is a friend and he can come and talk to me about the issue.”