Today is officially the last day that Campa Cola residents get to stay in their flats. However, they are doing everything they can to save their homes from being demolished.
Residents sought the legal opinion of Justice B N Srikrishna, aretired Supreme Court judge and Justice V G Palshikar, a retired judge from the High Court.
There have been demands from all quarters asking the chief minister to act in the case and pass an ordinance legalising the illegal floors and he had been looking into the legalities. In order to push for their cause, Campa Cola representatives on Saturday submitted a proposal along with the legal opinion of the two judges, stating that the government of Maharashtra was free to pass an ordinance, and it wouldn’t be contempt of court.
The proposal says that buildings which were constructed before 1991 and are under permissible FSI limits should be considered for regularisation. According to the residents, this would reduce the chances of misuse of the ordinance in future, since it wouldn’t extend to all illegal buildings in the city.
Another point in their favour is that the residents have been paying their taxes -- sales tax, property tax, income tax and various other taxes. Hence, they have asked the chief minister to consider their case.
Ajay Mehta, a resident of Campa Cola, said, “We had met the CM on Friday, where Milind Deora and Amin Patel had both accompanied us. The CM had asked for a legal opinion as to whether an ordinance would be feasible or not. So we submitted these documents. We are hoping for a positive reply from the chief minister.”
Rajiv Narula, advocate for the residents, said, “We have sought legal help from the two retired judges. Both say that an ordinance won’t be contempt of court, and copies of their opinions have been given to the CM. With hardly a few hours left for the residents, we are hopeful that the CM will act on the legal opinion. If the proposed ordinance is passed, it would save the houses.”
No stone is being left unturned to ensure that the apartments are saved from the bulldozers. An online petition has been started by the inhabitants of the colony, and more than 25,000 people have signed the digital document to show their support for their case. This is apart from the support their cause has received from politicians. This petition, too, will be handed over to the chief minister today.
The number of people who have signed the online petition to save Campa Cola
Residents get police notice
Meanwhile, the Worli police sent a notice to the residents of Campa Cola compound yesterday, asking them to cooperate with the BMC’s demolition squad. The notice, signed by Senior Inspector Deepak Pawar of Worli police station stated that under section 149 of the CrPC, the BMC was likely to carry out demolition of the illegal portions of the buildings, and requested residents to cooperate with the process.
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