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No HC relief,bulldozers set to roll into Campa Cola compound

The civic administration’s unprecedented move to demolish 140 illegal flats in an upmarket residential complex in Worli gained momentum after Bombay High Court Monday refused relief to the residents.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 15, 2014 5:41 pm

The civic administration’s unprecedented move to demolish 140 illegal flats in an upmarket residential complex in Worli gained momentum after Bombay High Court Monday refused relief to the residents.

The illegal flats are spread across seven buildings in the Campa Cola compound,which has 305 flats in all,home to 900-odd people. Residents of legal and illegal flats had filed separate petitions before the court.

Counsel for legal flatowners M P Rao told the court that the demolition would endanger their homes as well. BMC counsel S U Kamdar,however,said the razing would be carried out in a phased manner,and care would be taken to not damage legal flats.

In the wake of the Mumbra building collapse,BMC is keen to make an example of the illegal flats in the high-rises in Worli. “We will not tolerate such unauthorised structures. We want to send a clear signal,” commissioner Sitaram Kunte said.

A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and A R Joshi said that the Supreme Court had specifically said that the demolition should be carried out at the earliest,and that the state government or BMC should not erect any hurdles in the way. “At this stage,no case is made for the grant of any relief,” the court said,dismissing the petitions.

The court also noted that no stay order had been passed in response to a review petition the residents filed in the Supreme Court on April 1.

On February 27,the Supreme Court had upheld BMC’s order to demolish the illegal floors,and said that residents could not approach any government or political body seeking their regularisation.

On April 26,the BMC served eviction notices on 79 flats. Another 61 flats would be issued notices soon,officials said. The demolition was to originally take place on Monday,but is now likely to be carried out on May 2.

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