Hammer to fall on Campa Cola residents

Published: Nov 12, 2013, 06:17 IST | Chetna Sadadekar |

Protests, demonstrations, petitions and meetings result in nothing as the BMC squad is expected to enter the premises today to start the demolition proceedings for the illegal floors in the Worli buildings

Today is the day that residents of Campa Cola compound will remember forever. All their prayers and efforts to save their homes have failed, as today officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will execute the demolition order. Residents had already got a notice from Worli police station yesterday, asking them to cooperate with the demolition process.

End of fight? Campa Cola residents protesting against the demolition order at Girgaum Chowpatty last month. File Pics

The BMC team will visit the premises today and start the process by first disconnecting all utility services in the building. It will then hammer away at the internal walls if the flats are vacated on time and there is no law and order situation.  There are chances that officials may meet with resistance from residents, who have had support from several politicians. On Monday night, residents launched a last effort to save their flats. 

Minister for IT and Shipping Milind Deora accompanied them to meet the CM. Nandini Mehta, a resident of Campa Cola, said, “Monday night is the longest night in our lives, because tomorrow, the BMC will come and demolish the homes in the morning. At least that is what we have heard. But we are still hopeful that things will change, as we are meeting the CM and expect him to do something in our favour.”

Vidya Srinivas, another resident of Campa Cola, said, “Tuesday is going to be a nightmare we want to avoid completely. We want to write off the date from the calendar. Due to the mistake of the builders, our life’s savings that we put in our homes are at stake. Now with BMC being sure about the demolition, we will surely be deprived of our houses, and injusticewill be done. We are still trying to meet the CM and want to
convince him as all the politicians have shown their support to us.”

Even then, the compound saw politicians make an appearance. Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai, who is from the Shiv Sena, said, “If residents oppose the BMC’s entry into the premises, we too will join them. They need to be heard and they do not deserve to lose their homes. We will make sure that we meet the CM and make their voices heard, so that no injustice takes place.”

With almost all political parties supporting their cause and visiting the compound constantly, families still harbour some hopes that they might be spared a demolition if a proper legal opinion is given to the CM.

Meanwhile, BMC officials are all set to do their duty. BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani, who is in charge of the demolition process, said, “We will enter the compound tomorrow, as we are bound to follow the Supreme Court’s order. All the other departments like the water supply, building proposal, even the gas and electricity providers have been informed. We expect to be there by 11 am. The process of hammering the internal walls will also be started if the flats are vacated.” 

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