Lata Mangeshkar comes out in support of her Campa Cola neighbours

Jun 10, 2014, 08:45 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

The singer, who owns flat 802 in Ekta Apartments, tweets appeal to state government; says punishing residents for builders’ fault unjust

Residents of the Campa Cola housing society, whose illegally constructed flats are set to be razed, received some much-needed support from none other than the melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, who also owns a flat in the 8th floor in the complex.

Singer Lata Mangeshkar
Singer Lata Mangeshkar

Tweeting last afternoon from her handle @mangeshkarlata, she said, “I just want to say one thing to the Maharashtra government about the Campa Cola case. Many people, including children and the elderly, will become homeless if the houses are razed.

Singer Lata Mangeshkar owns flat number 802 in Esha Ekta Apartments of Campa Cola society
Singer Lata Mangeshkar owns flat number 802 in Esha Ekta Apartments of Campa Cola society

Three residents have died because of the stress. It is unjust that the residents will have to face trouble because of mistakes made by builders,” Mangeshkar owns an 8th-floor flat in Esha Ekta Apartments, which will also be razed. Despite repeated attempts, Mangeshkar was not available for comment.

Campa Cola society
Campa Cola society

Residents said they were pleasantly surprised by Mangeshkar’s tweet as they had not been able to talk to her and seek her support. They said they welcomed her intervention, even thought it may be too late. “We are grateful that someone of her stature is supporting us and can feel our pain,” said Vidya Srinivasan, one of the residents of the Campa Cola Compound.

Another resident, Nandini Mehta said, “It is the happiest thing to see someone as famous as her trying to bring a change in our lives. I hope the CM listens to her and tries to find a solution.” Sharadchandra Ubale, assistant municipal commissioner of the G-south Ward said that none of the keys had been handed over and the civic body would take action as per the building proposal department’s instructions.

Residents, meanwhile, are planning to erect more tents if the BMC permits them. The tent which was put up last week has an area of nearly 1,200 sq ft but residents are aware that, with the monsoons coming up and 96 families set to vacate their flats, the space will not be enough. More tents are, therefore, on the cards.

The residents had received an objection notice by the BMC on Friday over the tent in the compound. The civic body had said the tent was illegal and had directed residents to remove it. This caused stress among the residents, who responded with an application to erect a tent. They have not heard from the civic body about that yet.

Vijay Mirani, a resident of Mid Town apartment in the compound, said, “We will stay in tents and silently protest against our houses being razed. The civic body should think about us before demolishing these floors.” Srinivasan, another resident, said, “We have no option as 96 flats are going to be demolished.

We obviously need a shelter. We are awaiting a response from the BMC on our application.” “We will try to fit into a single tent but that won’t be possible because of the limited space. We will try to figure out a way or build more tents in the huge premises of the compound,” said Karan Sethia of Patel apartment.

Last builder passes away
B K Gupta, one of the builders of Campa Cola, died last morning following prolonged illness. He was the last of the four builders responsible for the compound who was alive when the controversy over the illegal flats came to a head recently. Mid Town apartment and BY apartment were built by him between 1981-1989.

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