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Now, politicians to try and stop Campa Cola demolition

With the BMC deciding to raze the illegal structures on June 17, politicians and their supporters are preparing to protest for the residents’ cause and in the process, gain some brownie points

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has declared June 17 as the demolition date of the illegal floors of the Campa Cola society in Worli. The delay in carrying out proceedings has given politicians a chance to gather their resources to show up on a day when the media glare will be on the controversial society.

Also read: Campa Cola demolition - Action against illegal flat owners to commence from June 17

BJP’s Gopal Shetty (top left), Shaina NC and independent corporator Makrand Narvekar (extreme right) at the Campa Cola protests in November
BJP’s Gopal Shetty (top left), Shaina NC and independent corporator Makrand Narvekar (extreme right) at the Campa Cola protests in November

The civic body is yet to send residents evacuation notices under Section 488 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, even though less than a week is left for the demolition. In this time, many political personalities and their supporters are preparing to show their support for the residents’ cause and try to prevent BMC from demolishing the unauthorised flats.

Also read: Lata Mangeshkar comes out in support of her Campa Cola neighbours

Ramdas Athawale of RPI (A), said he will talk to the Mayor, CM, to find a solution. File pics
Ramdas Athawale of RPI (A), said he will talk to the Mayor, CM, to find a solution. File pics

Ramdas Athawale, chief of the Republican Party of India (Athawale), visited the society yesterday and assured residents, “I will talk to the Mayor, CM, municipal commissioner to find a solution to the matter.” In the worst case, Athawale told residents he would send “200 of his party workers to act as a barrier against BMC to prevent the razing of their homes.”

Also read: After Lata Mangeshkar, Raj Thackeray comes out in support of Campa Cola residents

BJP MP Gopal Shetty, from the Mumbai North constituency, had also reached out to residents earlier and said he was for their cause. The affected inhabitants have little choice but to latch on to whoever brings in some hope. Maynaz Irani, a resident of Midtown Apartments, said, “These are strong political personalities supporting us. Yet, our condition is yet to improve.” Karan Sethia, a resident of Patel Apartments, added, “We just hope they are successful in saving our homes. At least then, the state will realise that nobody is against us staying here.”

BMCspeak
When asked how civic authorities would handle obstructions planned by political entities, Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of the Campa Cola demolition, said, “We will have to check with the legal team on what we can do if politicians protest during the demolition. We will be executing the Supreme Court’s order with the appropriate help of police as well.”

Also read: We'll hand over keys when other illegal buildings are demolished: Campa Cola resident

Adtani suggested we speak to deputy law officer Jernold Xavier, the legal in-charge of the case. He told mid-day, “There cannot be any contempt petition by the BMC against the politicians. We will decide on a course of action only if they do something that is against the Supreme Court’s order. However, the order clearly mentions that no government body or BMC can interfere in executing the order, and MLAs and MPs are officers of the government.”

It was observed during the previous demolition day that many politicians like BJP state treasurer Shaina NC, Gopal Shetty (who was then BJP MLA), MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha, ex-Shiv Sena spokesman Rahul Narvekar and independent corporator Makrand Narvekar had taken part in the protests against the demolition.

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