Campa Cola society row: Residents get breather, demolition work deferred till June 20
Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta
Mumbai: Giving a temporary relief to the residents of Campa Cola society, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday deferred the demolition work of the illegal flats till Friday, due to the sudden demise of a resident here.
BMC today gave two days time to the family members of late Vinod Kothari, to vacate the premises after they had urged for it to complete the last rites of the deceased.
Kothari family will hold prayer service for the death of Vinod on Thursday, reports said.
"After learning about the sudden death of a resident, we have decided to postpone the demolition for next three days on humanitarian grounds. Now, the demolition action will begin on Friday, 20 June," Mohan Adtani, Additional Municipal Commissioner told to an English news channel.
He added, “The residents requested to postpone it to carry out the funeral.”
According to reports, Kothari, the first resident of Worli`s Campa Cola Compound, passed away yesterday, after reportedly suffering a cardiac arrest.
Local residents claimed Kothari (83) suffered a heart attack due to mounting stress after the BMC served a notice intimating occupants about its demolition.
Adtani further said, "In the first stage of demolition, the civic body will cut off supply of electricity, water and gas to the illegally built flats. Internal walls of the flats would be pulled down in the second stage, and finally the balconies would be taken down."
"But, we will not cut off the water and electricity supply of illegal flat of Kothari family."
Later, the residents of the Campa Cola compound thanked BMC for postponing the demolition, reports said.
Yesterday, the BMC had issued notices under section 488 of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act to all unauthorised flat owners intimating them about the demolition action to be carried out tomorrow.
However, in a fresh show of protest, last week, residents after being served with eviction notices had refused to hand over their flat`s keys to BMC officials even after the June 12 deadline.
They had put forth fourteen conditions before the state government and the civic body, demanded a written affidavit agreeing to these conditions. But, the civic body decided to go ahead with the demolition plan refusing to agree with the residents conditions.
Residents also placed a set of conditions before the Maharashtra government and the BMC, with clauses like `no law will ever be passed by the government to regularise illegal construction in the city`, and that all illegal structures in the city would be demolished, reports said.
Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had assured BJP MP Gopal Shetty that the Campa Cola society would not be demolished during the monsoons and the state government would take Advocate General`s opinion over the matter.
The BJP MP had argued as to why was the entire building being demolished if only some portion of it was illegal.
Chavan had agreed to consult the Attorney General on what can be the legal option for the state after the apex court order.
In the case of the Campa Cola complex, built in 1981 to 1989, the builders, who were originally allowed to build only nine buildings with five floors each, went on to construct an additional illegal 96 flats.
What followed were a series of court cases, which culminated in the Supreme Court order on June 3 dismissing the plea of residents of illegal flats against the earlier order asking them to vacate their premises by May 31.
Over 100 illegal flats are to be razed by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
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