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Campa Cola demolition: Tired, residents open gates to the BMC

Residents have decided to allow civic authorities to enter the society today, to let them disconnect electricity, water and gas connections

Almost three days of resisting eviction from their homes, the residents of Campa Cola compound have finally decided to cooperate with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). According to the residents, they finally gave in, as they could not afford to have a contempt of court case filed against them, as threatened by the civic body.

Residents of Campa Cola society have agreed to allow municipal officials to enter the premises today and disconnect electricity, water and gas pipeline connections to illegal flats. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Residents of Campa Cola society have agreed to allow municipal officials to enter the premises today and disconnect electricity, water and gas pipeline connections to illegal flats. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi

During their meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, they requested him to ask the BMC to take back the case for deemed conveyance, so that they can retain the rights of redevelopment of the society. Residents met Chavan on Sunday afternoon, where they promised him that they would cooperate with the civic authorities.

During protests, two society residents collapsed at the gate and had to be taken to Bhatia Hospital for treatment
During protests, two society residents collapsed at the gate and had to be taken to Bhatia Hospital for treatment

One of the residents, Karan Sethia, said, “There is nothing left for us, except to work with the system. Whatever we did was to save our homes. We have asked the CM to request the BMC to take back the deemed conveyance case, which would help us for redevelopment.”

Inhabitants have come around after three days of protesting, after getting assurance from the BMC and the Chief Minister that there would be no damage to their homes, for now. Nevertheless, others claim that they decided to take the step in order to save themselves from the police, as an FIR had been registered against flat owners.

“We’ve been through a lot; so have our friends and neighbours. We hope the BMC takes the case back, now that we are willing to cooperate. The CM has promised that there would be no irreversible damage to our homes, and now we will move to our friends’ or relatives’ homes for the time being,” said Vidya Srinivas, a resident.

Day 3 of standoff
Emotions ran high on the third day of standoff between the residents and civic authorities.

During the protest, 55-year-old Usha Samdhariya from Orchid Apartments and 45-year-old Sunita Tibrewala from Patel Apartments collapsed at the gate, and had to be taken to the hospital.

MLA Bala Nandgaonkar from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena came out in support of the residents, saying, “The main culprits here are the builders and not the society.

The government should find a solution in favour of the residents. I have taken an appointment with the Chief Minister to discuss this matter. I will be proposing, regularising the floors that are within FSI.”

Inputs by Pooja Kalwar

BMC speak
Anand Waghralkar, deputy municipal commissioner, BMC, said, “While we can use force to enter the compound and cut the water, electricity and gas supply connection, we don’t want to use it. I hope the residents cooperate with us and end the process peacefully. All expenses of the demolition would be incurred by residents themselves.”

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