With less than 10 days to go before the Supreme Court’s (SC) deadline of vacating their illegal houses, residents of Worli’s Campa Cola compound are seeking help from Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi by writing to him on his official website.
Around 50 residents wrote to Modi on Wednesday urging him to look into the matter at the earliest. “We decided to write to him to draw his attention to the matter immediately. Almost one person from every family here has urged him to help us from being rendered homeless,” said Punit Shah, a resident.
Last week, the residents had met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshree, along with his son Aditya Thackeray and Sena leaders Rahul Shewale and Arvind Sawant. Aditya Thackeray, who heads the Shiv Sena’s youth wing, had assured the residents of Sena’s support and said the Chief Minister (CM) should direct the BMC to seek a solution.
The residents, for the longest time, were pinning their hopes on (CM) Prithviraj Chavan to help them seek a solution. “We have lost hopes on the Chief Minister. He has failed to help us in any way. Now we only aim to somehow speak to Narendra Modi and plead our case before him,” said Sunanda Verma, another resident.
On March 5 this year, the Supreme Court maintained its November 2013 order, which had fixed the May 31 deadline for Campa Cola residents to vacate their illegal houses.
“The matter depends on the discretion of the Chief Minister alone. We met him last week and have asked him to look into the matter. I don’t think the Prime Minister (elect), even if he can direct the Maharashtra CM, should involve himself. It will be a complete mockery of democracy,” said Sena leader Arvind Sawant, who recently won from Mumbai South constituency.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Shah, a businessman from south Mumbai, has claimed that through an RTI application, he has obtained documents which allegedly reveal that the 20-floor Midtown apartments had received a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) in 1988.
This was issued by the Chief Fire Officer (CFO), and a copy of which was also sent to the Building Proposals (BP) department of the BMC.
“The civic authorities claimed that no department from the BMC had issued permissions to the disputed structures.
The documents obtained clearly show that the CFO and BP departments were at fault.
Even in 2002, the CFO had issued occupancy certificates to the residents,” claimed Shah.