BMC's own staff to demolish Campa Cola buildings

There seems to be no respite in sight for the residents of Campa Cola compound at Worli. Despite running from pillar to post, coming out with a documentary and protesting at Marine Drive to ensure that the Supreme Court ( SC) and government authorities hear their plight and waive off the demolition of the 35 illegal floors of the complex, it seems the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ( BMC) is in no mood to relent.

Campa Cola compound has been in the news since early this year with residents claiming that the builder had made them believe that all permissions were in place. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

On the contrary, their troubles have only increased with Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte declaring that the demolition will be carried out after November 11 in accordance with the SC’s order. Though the Standing Committee has rejected the proposal of appointing a contractor to demolish the illegal floors, if sources are to be believed, then the civic body will be using its own manpower and mechanism to finish the task. Not only that, it will also be charging the residents for the same as penalty.

The BMC workforce, however, will comply with the conditions mentioned in the tender given to contractors who were bidding for the demolition contract. First, the internal walls of the houses will be demolished and care will be taken to ensure that the floors below don’t suffer any kind of damage. A water tanker will be placed on the sixth floor to provide uninterrupted water supply. However, the civic body would not be involved in creating another structural terrace for the residents of Campa Cola.

The municipal body decided to use its own labourers and machinery after Standing Committee members cited certain irregularities in the contract that was supposed to be drawn out for the contractor. They rejected the proposal for hiring a contractor having rates that of 2009 and not of 2013. They also cited that the contractor quoted a sum of R 2.11 crore, which was 12 per cent above the estimated cost. It also wasn’t clearly mentioned in the contract whether the legal tenants or the illegal tenants would incur the expenses of the demolition.

Standing Committee Chairman, Rahul Shewale, said, “ Firstly, we are not in the favour of demolition of Campa Cola and secondly, there are some irregularities in the contract, so we are not passing the proposal.” However, when contacted, civic chief Kunte, said, “ Even if this proposal is not passed, the demolition will still take place. I will follow the SC’s order. We will soon decide how to carry out the demolition.” A senior civic officer, said, on condition of anonymity, “ We had suspected the Standing Committee would reject the proposal. But we will go ahead with the demolition using our own manpower and mechanism and charge the residents of the Campa Cola compound for the same.”

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