Giving residents of Campa Cola Building a ray of hope, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday said he was open to any solution within the ambit of law. “I am open to any option or solution on the Campa Cola issue within the ambit of the Constitution and the law,” Chavan said in a statement late on Monday night.
The Supreme Court last week rejected a plea of residents to stay eviction until their curative petition is decided.
Earlier on Monday, Chavan had said the state government would not intervene. In the evening, he said, “In the present context there seems to be no solution within ambit of the law. I am open to discussion and deliberation on any option not in violation of the SC judgement.”
Meanwhile, BMC on Monday evening issued notices the residents to surrender keys to the flats.
There was a furore in the assembly in the day over abuse of leased lands in Mumbai, with legislators from both ruling and opposition demanding that Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reclaim such lands. The land on which Campa Cola building stands is owned by BMC. About 4,196 such lands exist in Mumbai. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) legislator Bala Nandgaonkar pointed out that no action had been taken even as lease expired in several cases. Minister of State (Urban Development) Uday Samant informed the MLAs that the lease had expired in about 226 cases. Of this, BMC renewed leases in 15 cases. Former minister and NCP legislator Prakash Solankhe said BMC and the government was within its right to reclaim lands where breaches had been committed. With ruling legislators exerting pressure, Samant said a drive, if required, would be taken up to repossess lands where there were lease breaches.
The BMC has given Campa Cola residents time till June 12, to submit the keys at G-South ward office in Lower Parel. “The legal department has framed notices giving residents three days starting June 10,” said a senior civic official.
“The residents’ association has to take a call on whether we will submit the keys. For now, we are shifting our belongings,” said Karan Sethia, a resident and member of Campa Cola core committee.
Singer Lata Mangeshkar Tweeted. “I want to say only one thing to Maharashtra government with regard to the Campa Cola compound. If homes of these residents are razed, thousands will be rendered homeless…”
BJP MLC Ashish Shelar said, “The Chief Minister and the state government can still take a look into the matter and help the residents find a solution.”