Even as residents of Campa Cola compound continue the fight to save their homes from demolition,nearly one-third of the 140 families have vacated their flats,unable to cope with high stress levels on the gloom-ridden premises.
After BMC announced it would demolish over 90 illegal flats on November 11 as per a Supreme Court ruling,60-70 per cent of resident families left their homes. A large part of them have moved back to their native towns after concerns grew over health of family members due to increasing stress levels. Residents,however,say that nearly half of those who vacated their flats have come back.
An eighth floor-resident of Orchid Apartments in the compound,Pradeep Doshi,said,My family members were almost suicidal. I had to get them out of there. Doshi,whose family is now staying with relatives at Tardeo,had bought his 1 BHK flat 13 years ago for Rs 32 lakh from the builder who promised them that the construction complied with BMC norms. Doshi added,We are praying that this Diwali will not be grim for us. The Chief Minister has told us he would speak to the Advocate General to find a solution.
After the apex court extended the demolition date from October 3 to November 11,hopeful residents have used the extra month to approach politicians from the Congress,BJP and Shiv Sena. On a request from residents,Shiv Sena youth wing leader Aaditya Thackeray used microblogging site Twitter to appeal to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to use discretionary powers to find a solution.
On Saturday,civic bodys improvements committee passed a resolution seeking that BMC chief Sitaram Kunte request Chavan to help the residents on humanitarian grounds. Leaving no stone unturned,the residents even sought divine intervention inviting 500 Muslims to the compound to pray for them. Residents have arranged for a Maha Arti and recital of the Bhagvad Gita on October 23.
Meanwhile,public support for the residents is also increasing as a Missed Call campaign started by the younger residents a week ago has recorded more than 8,000 calls.
Three short films produced by a team of young residents document the plight of the residents. One of the producers of the film,Nandini Mehta,said,PVR Cinemas has started screening our short films to create awareness. We are in talks with TV channels,too.