'We'll hand over keys when other illegal buildings are demolished'
In a last salvo to save their homes, residents of the disputed flats in Worli’s Campa Cola society have targeted all other illegal buildings in the city. Residents have asked the BMC to legally commit to taking action on all illegal buildings in the city, upon which they would hand over the keys to their flats.
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Residents of Campa Cola society were seen packing their belongings after the Supreme Court ruled out their final plea last Tuesday. File pic
Writing to the Chief Minister and Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte on behalf of all residents of illegal flats, Sunanda Verma from Midtown Apartments has said the residents are ready to submit their house keys, provided the BMC and state government fulfil certain conditions.
The first of these is a signed affidavit from the CM and BMC commissioner, committing to demolishing all illegal structures in the city and not regularising any of them. Verma also proposes that in the affidavit, it be stated that if any minister or official is found acting in opposition to this, he should be taken to a fast-track court. Homeowners have said that if these conditions aren’t fulfilled, they would not give up their houses.
Calling themselves victims of builders’ nexus, the residents have demanded instant action against the developer for fraud, and compensation to embattled residents by selling the builders’ properties. The letter also states that redevelopment should not be carried out on the vacated floors.
Caring for her legal co-residents, Verma added that the demolition should not disrupt the lives of those on legal floors. She has also asked the BMC to return the entire sum of stamp duty collected from illegal residents over the years with interest, before demolition. The letter then declares that all outstanding home loans of the flat owners would be the state’s responsibility.
Verma said it was her intention to make the letter public. “We will post this letter on various social networking sites. We will send it to the media and political personalities. We are thinking of making it an open letter to the public, addressing the CM and the BMC commissioner. If they help us, it won’t be in contempt of court.”
Anju Agarwal, from the same apartment, called everyone to come together and support them, in order to avoid being victims in future. Inhabitants have recently found support in the likes of Lata Mangeshkar and Raj Thackeray. Mangeshkar owns flat number 802 in Esha Ekta Apartment, which will also be razed.
BJP’s Gopal Shetty, newly elected MP from Mumbai North, visited the society, and RPI’s Ramdas Athawale voiced his concern for the residents. Residents have until 5 pm today to vacate their flats and hand over their keys to BMC.