After three days of standoff and protest, day four at Campa Cola compound was a subdued one.
Officials disconnected electricity supply to illegal flats of Campa Cola compound. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
As residents claimed that they have been assured that no irreversible damage will be done to their flats, the message seems to have reached the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities as well.
When mid-day checked with the civic body, they seemed keen to work at a gradual pace, taking one step at a time. During Monday’s visit of the BMC to the compound, they managed to carry out the disconnection process of utilities smoothly.
About 55 electricity meters, three water connections and 14 gas supply connections were turned off. This was a critical task for the civic body, to identify the connections of illegal flats, as they could not afford cutting connections of legal residents.
'Just doing our job'
The BMC workers at the compound expressed mixed reactions; some sympathising with the flat owners, while others felt it was nothing more than their job to carry out the demolition process. mid-day spoke to two workers at the compound who were disconnecting the electricity and water supply.
Anil Shinde, a BMC worker, said, “It is a routine practice for me to cut water supply and I’m used to people crying. As humans, we understand that losing a home is a sad and depressing time, but I cannot do anything except carry out my work, as my bread and butter comes from my job.”
Another worker from BEST, Rajaram Pawar, who had come to disconnect electricity supply of the illegal flats said that while he felt emotional about the entire incident, he had to keep a professional front to carry out his work.
“This is the first time I was chosen to be a part of a team that is carrying out a demolition process, which will ultimately lead to people losing their homes. Cutting electricity for non-payable bills is a different scenario. However, I’m a government employee and it is my duty to carry out the job to the best of my ability.”
Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Anand Waghralkar, said, “We expect the same professional behaviour from our team in the coming days when we carry out the demolition process. As of now, we are only concentrating on disconnecting the utilities and will be submitting a report on the action taken.
Later, we will plan the demolition process as well, as nothing has been chalked out right now. We have cut water supply of three flats, 14 gas supply and electricity connections of about 55 flats.”