Campa Cola row: Post SC stay, BMC exploring options to rehabilitate residents
Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
Mumbai: With the Supreme Court staying the demolition of the illegal flats built on the Campa Cola compound in south Mumbai`s posh Worli area, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)
is now exploring options to rehabilitate the owners of these apartments.
Reports on Friday said that the BMC officials are considering the option of taking back a part of the plot in the Campa Cola compound from a builder, who had acquired third-party rights without the civic body`s permission, for the FSI required to accommodate the occupants of the illegal flats.
Reports say that BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte will today meet the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and brief him on all possible options to rehabilitate the residents.
A senior bureaucrat yesterday said that the plot belonged to the BMC but its permission was never sought for the transaction.
"If the illegal flat owners have to be accommodated, then the lease (on this plot) will have to be cancelled and new flats constructed on that land," the bureaucrat said.
Although, it will be difficult to reclaim the land from the builder, the BMC officials think there is no other option if the civic body finds the FSI necessary.
Another problem which the BMC is likely to face is changing the status of the land from industrial to residential meant for construction purpose before part of it can be transferred to the illegal residents of the society.
If the BMC manages to reclaim the land, paying the price for the land owners as per the revised market rates will be another tough job.
The question whether the residents will be able to afford the price of the land as per current market rate in the area - Rs 40,000-50,000/sq ft - something that bothers the BMC officials. In order to help the owners, the state government will have to allot the land at a much subsidized rate, but even then it could cost a hefty sum.
The proposal will have to be ratified by the improvements committee and the general body of the BMC. With most politicians professing their support for Campa Cola residents, this is not considered to be tough now.
With the Campa Cola Compound residents refusing o vacate their flats and waging a do-or-die battle to save their homes with the BMC, the apex court had on Wednesday stayed the demolition there.
It further asked Attorney General G Vahanvati to submit a proposal for the rehabilitation of the owners of the illegal flats. Vahanvati informed the court that all the flat owners could be rehabilitated in the premises of the same society, and the illegal flats could then be demolished.
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