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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Campa Cola row: After meeting CM Chavan, residents agree to open gates for BMC officials

Campa Cola residents softened their stance and allowed BMC officials to enter the premises to disconnect their utilities.

| Mumbai | Updated: June 22, 2014 7:31:48 pm
Campa Cola residents block the entrance for the BMC officials who arrived to disconnect the water and electricity supply of the society, in Mumbai on Saturday. (Source: PTI) Campa Cola residents block the entrance for the BMC officials who arrived to disconnect the water and electricity supply of the society, in Mumbai on Saturday. (Source: PTI)

In a climb down, residents of Campa Cola compound, who have been resisting authorities since Friday, on Sunday agreed to allow municipal officials to enter the premises on Monday and disconnect electricity, water and gas pipeline connections to illegal flats.

The decision was announced by the residents of the housing complex in plush Worli area of south Mumbai after a meeting
with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who asked them to comply with the law and assured that their proposal of 67,000 sq ft
permissible Floor Space Index (FSI) would be positively considered.

“We are tired of all this, can’t do this anymore. We will explore all legal solutions. We were all fighting to save our homes. It was not a mistake. We will comply with Supreme Court order… We will open our gates for the BMC to execute their duties,” said Ashish Jalan, a resident of the complex, while briefing the media.

The residents have also written to President Pranab Mukherjee hoping for a presidential “pardon” considering the number of senior citizens living in the premises.

Jalan, speaking on behalf of the Campa Cola compound residents, said, “It is a win-win situation. We will cooperate with the civic authorities as they have told us that only supplies to basic utilities would be cut and would not carry out any demolition.”

Deputy Municipal Commissioner Anand Waghralkar told PTI that the civic body will begin disconnection of water, electricity and piped gas connections to the 102 illegal flats from 11 am on Monday.

In the last two days, the officials of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) had made futile attempts
to convince the residents, amid heavy security presence, to let them in as the residents had barricaded themselves at the
entrance of the complex.

The MCGM officials had warned that if the residents do not allow them to implement the Supreme Court orders, they would
have to use force. The civic body had also registered a police case against the society residents for obstructing the public
servants from discharging their duties on Friday.

The Campa Cola compound lost its plea in the apex court on June 3 when it challenged its earlier order of February 27 to vacate the building by May 31.

Campa Cola residents had argued that they were victimised for the fault of the builders and civic officials, who colluded in violating rules to build illegal floors.

In June last year, the Supreme Court had ordered families occupying the illegal flats to vacate the building by May. Their deadline to hand over the keys ended on June 12.

The residents moved the Supreme Court to buy more time to help legalise their home of three decades. But the court on
June 3 rejected their plea and ordered them to vacate their flats.

Seven high-rises were constructed in the Campa Cola Compound, between 1981 and 1989. The builders had permission
for only five floors. The residents have been fighting a legal battle since 2000, when they first went to the Bombay High
Court to legalise their water and power supply.

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