Making his stand clear on the illegal Campa Cola flats, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of regularising them through an ordinance or any other means, but promised to look at other options.
Chavan admitted that the representation made by attorney general of India Goolam Vahanvati before the Supreme Court, about using the additional FSI to rehabilitate the residents was not endorsed by the state government.
Chavan said the submission was unwarranted as the option has not been studied by the government or the civic body.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and minister of state for housing, Sachin Ahir, both from the Nationalist Congress Party, met Chavan urging him to intervene as the issue was drawing criticism over the government’s inaction. Chavan told the ministers that if acceptable options are brought up, the state government was open to making a representation in the Supreme Court.
Earlier, Chavan told HT that the Supreme Court’s order issued on Tuesday was clear and ruled out any possibility of issuing an ordinance.
“I feel sad they will lose their houses, but the Supreme Court order has not left any scope for regularising the flats,” he said. “I had made it clear on Day 1 that issuing an ordinance was not an option.”
Ahir later told the media that the issue would now be handled at the government level with consultation with the BMC.
“Chavan has clarified that an ordinance to save the illegal residents is out of the question. There are nearly 3,500 illegal buildings in the state similar to Campa Cola and hence an ordinance would set a wrong precedent. We will tell the residents to tap other options by engaging renowned architects,” he said.
Ahir said utilising permissible FSI for rehabilitation has not been studied yet. “However, the decision taken by the government would be uniform and applicable to all similar buildings. The decision would be in accordance with the provisions in the Development Control Rules. We will come out with a solution within a week.”
Chavan was told in the meeting that it was possible to save 80% of the illegal flats through this means.
Meanwhile, the BMC has ruled out further support to the residents.
“The brazenness of the illegalities is such that we are not inclined to extend any help to these residents by way of rehabilitating them. We are convinced that the original flat owners knew about the illegalities, despite which they bought flats in the compound,” said a senior civic official.
Another officer said the BMC will now be focused on implementing the court order. “If there is no other legal development, we will begin demolitions accordingly.”