Locals at Nandgaon coast mistake kayaker for surveyor of controversial project

Published: Dec 08, 2016, 12:53 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Mumbai-based kayaker Kaustubh Khade had a tough time convincing locals in Nandgaon coast in Boisar that he was not a surveyor for the controversial Wadhwan port in Dahanu, on Tuesday


Kaustubh Khade. Pic/Twitter

Mumbai-based kayaker Kaustubh Khade had a tough time convincing locals in Nandgaon coast in Boisar that he was not a surveyor for the controversial Wadhwan port in Dahanu, on Tuesday. The project has been strongly opposed by local fishermen.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, Khade is a computer engineer from IIT-Delhi. He lives in Mumbai though, and finished his last solo kayaking trip to Goa in 17 days. While the distance of the Mumbai-Goa trip was 415-km, his current mission is from Kutch to Kanyakumari, during which he will cover a distance of 3,300 km.

Dhiraj Gawad, a resident of Nandgaon, informed Hindustan Times that, on Tuesday evening, locals found a car parked near Nandgaon beach, with a man having binoculars. and soon Khade on the kayak came at the shore. Later, a woman cyclist also came at the spot. “We were quite suspicious of the trio and we mistook them as a survey team that had come to Wadhwan in Dahanu for the proposed Rs 30,000 crore and 30-berth port, in a bid to decongest the JNPT and Mazgaon ports said Gawad. Just a few days ago the team had come to conduct survey for the port and we had protested and stopped it,” Hitendra Naik, another resident, told HT.

The report added that locals questioned them, before Khade managed to convince them that he was a kayaking sportsman. Khade’s car driver also showed them the NOC from concerned authorities for carrying out kayaking activities, Gawad further informed the paper.

Hindustan Times report stated that Khade began his Kutch trip from Dwarkar and paddled his way to Porbander, Madhopur, Okha-Mandi, Mangrol, Verawal, Somnath,Surat in Gujarat and landed at Nandgaon coast in Palghar on Tuesday evening, before leaving for Uttan, Bhayander on Wednesday.

According to the report, Khade is on a mission to spread awareness about kayaking, and is also a volunteer for Magic Bus, an NGO for the underprivileged children in Mumbai. He is being accompanied by his girlfriend Shanjali Shahi, and Nitin Khotavadekar, on his adventurous trip.

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