Campa Cola demolition: Penalise buildings, but give them OC, says BMC Law Committee chairman

Nov 08, 2013, 11:49 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

The Campa Cola disaster has indeed become an eye-opener for many citizens. There are 3,000 other buildings in the city that are illegal and have been denied occupation certificates (OCs), but still have residents living in them. To bring relief to such people, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Law Committee chairman Makrand Narvekar has floated a proposal suggesting that buildings that violated only FSI norms should be regularised.

Residents of Campa Cola compound went on a hunger strike on November 5 in a bid to draw attention and get the CM to intervene on their behalf. Residents have been given till November 11 to vacate their homes. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

In his letter to the mayor, Narvekar has suggested that an amnesty scheme be offered to buildings constructed up to a certain year, which he says should be decided by the BMC. According to the BMC, there are more than 3,000 buildings in the city without OCs due to FSI violations.

Narvekar, who is an independent corporator, said that even though it wasn’t the residents’ fault, they had to bear the brunt because of lapses by administrators and builders. According to him, buildings that violated only FSIs should be extended this scheme. Structures that do not have NOCs from the fire department and other bodies are not to be considered, he wrote.

Makrand Narvekar
In his letter to the mayor, Makrand Narvekar has suggested that an amnesty scheme be offered to buildings constructed up to a certain year

Narvekar, said, “There are issues with regularising buildings having violations or irregularities. If Campa Cola is not considered, there will be a thousand more buildings, and many others who will suffer because of negligence by the BMC employees who couldn’t stop work at the right time.

To avoid hassles, it is better if we get an amnesty scheme for buildings constructed up to a certain year, which needs to be decided by the civic body. Only a specific number of buildings constructed till a specified year will be regularised, and this cannot be misused by builders in the future. If slums can be regularised, why can’t buildings with only FSI violations have the same?”

In exchange for the legal status, the proposal states that a penalty be imposed on the society the amount will again be decided by the BMC. With the larger number of buildings under consideration, Narvekar feels it will rake in crores of rupees in fines and be beneficial both for authorities and residents. The corporator denied that the move had anything to do with the upcoming elections and says the idea was mooted after the Campa Cola issue, as there was no relief for residents and no intervention from the CM’s end.

Mayor, Sunil Prabhu, confirmed receiving the proposal, saying, “I have received the letter last week. I will be looking into it soon. Once it is approved by other corporators, it will be forwarded to the Commissioner and he will give his suggestions. After this, a proper proposal will be forwarded to the state government.” 

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