Campa Cola residents agree for demolition after CM’s intervention
MUMBAI: After two days of tense stand-off, residents of the illegal flats in Mumbai’s Campa Cola Compound have given in and said they will allow officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to enter the premises tomorrow and disconnect electricity, water and gas pipeline connections.
“We are tired of all this, can’t do this anymore. We will explore all legal solutions. We were all fighting to save our homes. It was not a mistake. We will comply with Supreme Court order… We will open our gates for the BMC to execute their duties,” said Ashish Jalan, a resident of the complex, while briefing the media.
For two days, BMC officials have been facing stiff resistance from residents, and had not been allowed to enter the compound to carry out eviction in keeping with a Supreme Court order. The civic body has maintained that they will only cut supplies to basic utilities and won’t carry out any demolition.
Earlier, the residents had appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee to save their homes. According to reports, residents in their mercy petition urged the President to intervene on “humanitarian grounds”.The residents argue that they are being victimised for the fault of the builders and civic officials who colluded in violating rules to build 35 illegal floors. Renowned singer and Bharat Ratna recipient Lata Mangeshkar also owns a flat in the society.In June last year, the Supreme Court had ordered families occupying the illegal flats to vacate the building by May. Their deadline to hand over the keys ended on June 12, but the residents then threatened to pitch tents in the complex.
The residents moved the Supreme Court to buy more time to help legalise their home of three decades. But the court on June 3 rejected their plea and ordered them to vacate their flats.
Seven high-rises were constructed at what came to be called the Campa Cola Compound, between 1981 and 1989. The builders had permission for only five floors, but constructed several more. The residents have been fighting a legal battle since 2000, when they first went to the Bombay High Court to legalise their water and power supply.