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'If Thane can be regularised, why not Campa Cola compound?'

If illegal structures in Thane can be authorised, then why not do the same with Campa Cola compound with a penalty, is what the president of builder’s apex body in Maharashtra has to say on the current scenario of the illegal compound. The BMC has issued a demolition notice to the Campa Cola compound in Worli.


Campa Cola residents protesting against the Supreme Court verdict calling for the demolition of the compound. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

A release sent out by President of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI-CREDAI), Paras Gundecha, reads as follows, “Gundecha appealed to both the residents and BMC to explore all options including a review petition in the Supreme Court to give some more time for the residents to find a way out of the crisis. BMC should not show any undue haste in demolishing the flats where people have been living for 25 years.”

Pointing out that the authorities are regularising the unauthorised structures in Thane district and other places, Gundecha appealed to the government to sympathetically consider the plight of Campa Cola residents. “Even Campa Cola compound flats can be regularised with payment of penalties,” he said. Nowhere has Gundecha mentioned that the government should have taken action against the builder.

Speaking on Gundecha’s proposal, former chief secretary DM Sukthankar claimed that what was not supposed to be there in the first place shouldn’t be regularised as it would set a bad precedent. “In case of Ulhasnagar and Thane, there were scores of people getting affected, hence, such a decision had to be taken,” said Sukthankar.

Advocate Abha Singh, speaking on Gundecha’s proposal, said that once something has been declared by the court as illegal, it’s illegal and can’t be regularised like any other property. “Only the apex court has the right to review its decision. The residents should file a review petition,” she said.

Social activist Medha Patkar said that there should be an inquiry into why the builder went ahead with the construction when he had received the notice in 1985. She said action should be taken against officials because the building came up and no action was ever taken. “It seems regularising is the current trend where every illegal structure is being legalised,” said Patkar. 

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