Residents return to flats, pin hopes on Oct 8 hearinghttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/residents-return-to-flats-pin-hopes-on-oct-8-hearing/

Residents return to flats, pin hopes on Oct 8 hearing

Earlier, in August, the SC had sought a clarification as to why the BMC was not finding a solution to the issue.

Even as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to reply to the plea filed by the residents of the illegal flats of Worli’s Campa Cola compound in the Supreme Court (SC), many of these residents are returning to the compound with the hope that the next hearing, scheduled on October 8, will turn in their favour.

“It is not possible for the residents to sustain themselves with sky-rocketing rents in the city. Many have started returning only because they cannot afford to lose their homes. We are hoping that the BMC lets us celebrate Diwali in peace this year at least,” said Sunanda Verma, a resident of the Midtown apartments. Many of the residents had refused to vacate their flats even after the civic body had disconnected essential supplies like water, gas and electricity on June 30.

They had instead shifted their belongings to a godown or a friend’s place, and had built tents to stay in the compound. “We cannot rely on friends and relatives all the time. We are seeking help from the residents of the first five floors for water, and are using emergency lights during the night,” said Nandini Mehta, a core committee member who had temporarily shifted for 15 days, and has now returned to her flat on the tenth floor of Midtown apartments.

Earlier, in August, the SC had sought a clarification as to why the BMC was not finding a solution to the issue. It had given the civic body two weeks to reply with a hearing on September 1. The civic body had later requested the apex court for an extension of four more weeks. The residents have been blaming the civic body of being reluctant to find an amicable solution. A senior civic official from the law department of BMC said, “We have been holding meetings with the municipal commissioner and the respective departments to draft the reply soon.”    tanushree.venkatraman@expressindia.com

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