After failing to receive keys of illegal flats in Worli’s Campa Cola compound by the 5 pm deadline on Thursday, the BMC will serve eviction notices to the residents over the weekend under section 488 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act.
In the notices, the BMC has set a new deadline for residents to vacate the compound, as on June 17, the corporation will enter the premises. “We will draft the eviction notices for the residents on Friday, and issue these over the weekend till Monday, June 16. In this, we will specify to residents that they have not followed the Supreme Court (SC) order of vacating the flats by May 31 or our deadlines for vacating the flats. We will also inform the residents of our intention to enter the compound on June 17 or thereafter, to begin the demolition of illegal structures,” additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said.
He added that on the first day of entering the premises, the BMC together with the Mahanagar Gas Ltd and the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST) will disconnect the electricity and gas connections to the 96 illegal flats in seven buildings in the compound.
“We will make the flats uninhabitable and break off internal walls to begin with. After the monsoons, by which time we will have appointed a contractor for scientific demolition of the illegal flats, we will start breaking down the external walls. If the residents resist us, we will immediately file a contempt petition with the SC,” Adtani added.
Meanwhile, the Campa Cola Compound Residents Association has now written a letter to the BMC saying that they are ready to hand over the keys provided they get a “written, registered affidavit” from the Municipal Commissioner and Chief Minister addressing close to 14 points listed by them.
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Among other demands, the residents want an assurance that all illegal constructions in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra will be demolished, that all the stamp duty collected from the residents would be reimbursed with interest before demolition and that the State will take responsibility for all their outstanding loans. “The civic body is rendering us homeless, so we are making a few points that they should address before demolishing our houses. We also want them to assure us that the society will get the conveyance and available FSI will be with the residents only,” said Nandini Mehta, a resident and a member of the Campa Cola core committee.
The residents have demanded that the civic body should compensate for their losses in case the curative petition works in their favour. The owners of the legal flats have asked for an assurance that the first five floors will be livable even after demolition of the illegal floors.
The residents, who have also addressed the letter to the Chief Secretary of the Maharashtra Government and the G-South ward office, are asking for a CBI inquiry to know who initiated a fast-track judgment that took only 3 years from sessions court to the Supreme Court. “We also want the Municipal Commissioner to justify the penalty that they collected from the builders and a written apology addressed to the citizens of Mumbai and us for the error committed on part of the corporation,” Mehta added.