BMC prepares its demolition squad

To start issuing eviction notices to occupants of 96 illegal flats from today.

Written by Alison Saldanha | Mumbai | Updated: June 4, 2014 8:38 am
slum-main Residents will be issued notices under Section 488 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. (Express photo by Kevin D’Souza)

With the Supreme Court Tuesday dismissing the Campa Cola Residents’ Welfare Association’s plea to extend the deadline to vacate the 96 illegal flats in seven buildings of the society in the Worli compound, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now begun preparing for the demolition.

While the corporation is yet to officially receive the apex court’s order issued on June 3, it will begin issuing eviction notices on Wednesday and demolition teams will be sent to the compound thereafter.

“Together with the municipal commissioner, we are in the process of finalising our future plan of action. We are yet to take a call on whether to file a contempt petition or just enter the premises and begin demolition in the coming days as per the court orders,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani.

The residents will be issued notices under Section 488 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, which basically allows the civic administration to “enter any premises for purposes of inspection, survey or execution of necessary work”.

“We have yet to fix the timeframe for residents to vacate the flats before we send in our demolition teams, keeping in mind we will have to ready ourselves for the work. If we do decide to file the contempt petition, we may exempt the residents who comply with the SC order and move out of the premises now,” Adtani said.

“Our main purpose is to demolish the illegal constructions as per the apex court’s directions. Neither we, nor the honourable SC is looking to penalise the residents,” Adtani added.

On Monday, for the fourth time since October last year, the corporation re-started the tendering process for appointing a contractor to carry out the demolition work. Failing to receive a good response in the previous attempts, the civic body now intends to send its own men to perform the initial razing work.

“We will first disconnect gas and electricity connections, following which our men will bring down the internal walls and slabs. In the meantime, we should be able to find a contractor to scientifically take down the columns and beams of the illegal structures without harming the legal flats below. Once we enter the compound, we should have a better response from bidders, as it will give them confidence that the work will begin without inordinate delay,” said Adtani.

“As and when we do decide to bring our demolition team to the compound, we will seek the help of the Mumbai Police in carrying out the court’s orders, and ensuring law and order. If residents continue to resist the SC order for demolition, the police can take action against them,” the additional municipal commissioner added.

alison.saldanha@expressindia.com

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