When Bombay was a dumbbell-shaped combination of 7 islands tapering, at the centre, to a narrow shining strand beyond which could be seen the finest and largest natural harbour in Asia. Kolbhat, Palva Bunder, Dongri, Mazagaon, Naigaum and Worli were among the islands the Kolis gave their names to. Kolbhat was distorted to Colaba; Palva Bunder became Apollo Bunder. The temple to Mumbadevi in Dongri gave rise to the name of the city. One of the smaller islands near Colaba, variously called Old Man's Island and Old Woman's Island, was a distortion of the Arab name Al-Omani, given for the same fishers who ranged as far away as the Gulf of Oman.
The development of the modern city slowly marginalised these people of the sea. They were removed from Dongri already in 1770 by the East India Company. This historical process of elimination eventually pushed them to the strand near Cuffe Parade, from where they plied their ancient trade of deep water fishing. The Backbay reclamation of the 60's would have further marginalised them had they not approached the courts to stay the reclamation. Now their settlements are protected by law. The places where the koli communities places called Koliwada. You will find these koliwadas from mumbai city to its suburbs. There is also a railway station called Koliwada on the central railway horbour line route whose name was replaced with Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar .
Worli Koliwada covers approximately 125 acres of land, with the core Koliwada area, Worli Fort and other surrounding unorganized developments accounting for 68 acres and the Coast Guard premises and Adarsh Nagar accounting for the rest. This area is in the very heart of one of Mumbai’s most lucrative commercial and residential property zones. Its potential for real estate development seems obvious, but certain immutable market realities have so far saved it from such fate.
To begin with, Worli Fort is a heritage monument. Secondly, the Worli Koliwada area itself falls in a Coastal Regulation Zone, as it is bound by sea from three sides. Thirdly, it is also sensitive from a Defence perspective, given that the Indian Coast Guard has active operations abutting it. An additional factor that makes Worli Koliwada sensitive from a security viewpoint is its proximity to the Bandra-Worli Sealink.