The Supreme Court on Monday gave the residents of Campa Cola buildings and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) two weeks to come up with an alternative to demolishing the 35 illegal floors spread across the seven buildings of the Worli compound. Sources in the civic body, however, said the BMC was unlikely to allow regularisation.
The court was hearing an application filed by residents in December 2013 on the basis of “new evidence” they claimed to have found.
According to the resident’s application, in November 1986, the then additional municipal commissioner of the island city had allegedly issued orders to regularise the illegal constructions by levying a Rs 6.5-lakh penalty on the builders, which was later recalculated to Rs 11.2 lakh. The architect was also asked to submit amended plans as per the work carried out at the site.
The residents claim that this penalty was paid on December 12, 1986, but the developers refused to pay the recalculated additional fine of Rs 4.6 lakh and constructed beyond the permissible FSI limit.
Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Campa Cola residents, said, “The court has asked us to sit with the Attorney General (who appeared for the BMC) to discuss how the homes can be regularised using the balance FSI space that has remained unutilised. We will also take into account the payments made to the BMC in 1986 to approve the unauthorised constructions, in spite of which, somehow, the corporation has not considered regularising the illegal flats.”
Another residents’ lawyer said, “The court felt it was a humanitarian problem and said if there was a way that a solution could be worked out then it must be considered. Our proposal after discussion with the AG will be submitted to the BMC to check its feasibility. Thereafter, we will go back to court in two weeks.”
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said, “We have yet to study the order but the court has asked the two legal counsels to sit together and provide a legal opinion on what can be done. In the end, it is the authority concerned that will have to take a decision on the matter.”