Fighting resistance from residents of Campa Cola compound in Worli for the last three days, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Monday began phase-1 of the demolition process by disconnecting electricity connection for 55 illegal flats, gas connections for around 14 flats and water supply for three flats of the seven buildings in the compound.
Around 12 teams, four each from the civic body, Mahanagar Gas and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST), reached the compound around 11.30 am and began their job.
“We will take two more days to disconnect essential supplies for the illegal flats in the compound. We have orders to make the flats uninhabitable and the residents co-operated with us. After we complete the first phase, we will send a report to the higher authorities and then discuss our next course of action,” said a senior civic official from the G/South ward office.
In the first phase, the BMC will cut off essential supplies to the illegal flats. Internal walls of the flats would be pulled down in the second phase before finally demolishing the floors.
The civic body has also made provisions for the 89 illegal flat owners of the compound to surrender keys to their flats, but the residents are unrelenting. “Once our houses have been made inhabitable, we will not be living here. However, our fight to regularise flats within the permissible FSI (floor space index) is still on and therefore we will not be depositing the keys,” Ashish Jalan, a resident, said.
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On Sunday evening, the residents had decided to give up their 15-month fight against the administration after meeting Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at his residence. They claimed he had also assured them of looking into options within the framework of the law to help them save their homes.
However, some residents still feel they should have continued their fight against the civic body. “Because of a few members, all of us in the compound have to lose our homes now. The core committee members never took the consent of all the residents. We now feel all our efforts of protesting against the civic body for three whole days have gone down the drain,” said Devyani Jayakar, a resident.