Calling it a “conditional agreement”, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Commissioner Sitaram Kunte passed an order to restore electricity in all the 89 illegal flats in Worli’s Campa Cola compound. It was the BEST general committee meeting that registered the inconvenience faced by residents, without water and electricity.
The order followed the Supreme Court’s grant to residents to approach the Maharashtra government with a request to regularise the unauthorised flats, facing demolition. “This is just a conditional agreement since the apex court has allowed residents to approach the state government for regularisation. This doesn’t have any bearing on our stand against the illegal flats. If tomorrow the state government also says that the flats cannot be regularised and are illegal, then we will take effective steps,” said Kunte.
Even after BMC cut off essential supplies, including water, gas and electricity last June, most of the families are still residing in the complex by making use of temporary electric supply or seeking help from residents living in legal flats.
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Officials from BEST visited the compound on Saturday, and asked residents to provide their last electricity bill and address proof, and said power will be restored as soon as the documentation process is complete. Residents of the illegal flats had approached the state recently seeking relief.
Nandini Mehta, a resident and member of the core committee, said, “With summer round the corner and children preparing for their exams, we had requested that the utilities be restored till we reach a conclusion with the state.” Mehta also confirmed that the residents have not appealed for regularisation with the state government yet. “We will soon send a formal application or meet the CM.”
The residents involuntarily vacated their homes last year, following a long legal battle, with BMC initiating demolition procedures. The SC has also made it clear that its earlier orders will not obstruct the regularisation of the illegal flats.