iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

HT correspondent and Agencies
Mumbai, November 13, 2013
The residents of the Campa Cola Compound in south Mumbai were relieved after the Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed its order to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to demolish illegal flats at the housing society. Residents were seen cheering and hugging each other as soon as the news of the stay order came in.

A resident told a TV channel that she would celebrate the day like Diwali.

The SC gave the residents seven months to vacate the illegal flats in the compound as there was no relocation plan in place.

According to reports, the SC took a suo motu cognisance of the standoff at the compound and ordered the BMC to delay the demolition till May 31, 2014.

Later in the day, the apex court bench said the next hearing in the case would be held on November 19.

The Supreme Court bench said that it was badly disturbed by the developments that took place at Campa Cola complex premises in Mumbai.

The bench also directed the attorney general to submit specific proposal for a permanent solution to this problem and asked him to reply before November 19. It questioned the BMC for failing to take action against erroneous builders, who were actually responsible for the situation.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said he has ordered a probe into the row over and that the state government is studying the Supreme Court order suspending the demolition.
“We have ordered the probe and are studying the order. The occupants have got some relief and the state government has sought legal opinion from Attorney General GE Vahanvati on the issue,” Chavan said.

The apex court had ordered BMC to demolish 96 flats across 35 illegal floors in seven buildings in the compound. The SC deadline to vacate the flats ended on Monday.

The flats were built by builders without the permission from BMC and hence were declared illegal.

More than 140 families have been residing in the complex for the past 25 years.

Earlier on Wednesday, police broke open the gate of compound with the help of bulldozers, a day after BMC officials failed to enter the premises to demolish the illegal houses in the society.

On Tuesday, residents had formed a human barrier behind the closed gates, daring BMC officials to enter the complex.

A meeting of Campa Cola residents, the police and civic body officials was held on Tuesday as a last-ditch effort to break the impasse. But the participants failed to hammer out a solution.