With over 150 policemen in attendance,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Police began the demolition process of 35 illegal floors in seven buildings at the
Campa Cola compound ,with two bulldozers and four truckloads of civic workers on Tuesday morning. By the end of the day,however,only eight electricity meters and gas connections were disconnected by four teams of 16 workers each,led by five assistant municipal commissioners.
Of the 102 flats which are listed for demolition,the BMC began the process in eight flats that have already been vacated. The BMC,however,did not attempt to evict residents of the remaining flats.
The police detained three politicians,including BMC corporator Makrand Narvekar (independent),his brother and Shiv Sena spokesperson Rahul Narvekar and MLA Mangal Lodha,and four residents who were reportedly restricting the movement of civic officials. We only detained the politicians and four residents for a few hours. We let them go in the evening. We havent lodged any case against them, said Vinayak Deshmuk,DCP,Zone III.
There is a lot of political pressure on us to proceed with caution. We have surveyed the seven buildings and will be continuing the demolition work on Wednesday, said a senior civic official. As new developments are expected from the Chief Ministers Office in response to residents pleas,we have been advised not to use force. Depending on the situation on Wednesday,we will plan our course of action for the day, added the official.
Seven highrise buildings were constructed at the compound between 1981 and 1989. While the builders were granted permission for ground-plus-five floors,they built six to 20 floors in the different buildings.
On February 27 this year,the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of the illegal floors. The BMC issued a 48-hour demolition notice to the residents,who approached the Supreme Court seeking regularisation of the unauthorised floors under permissible FSI. The apex court directed the residents to approach the concerned authorities. The BMC later rejected their application.
The civic body plans to complete the demolition of internal walls and disconnection of electricity and water connections over the next two months. Thereafter,an expert private company will carry out the demolition of the main beams,columns and floors of the buildings.