The death of a Campa Cola resident on Sunday has prompted the BMC to extend the residents’ deadline to vacate homes on humanitarian grounds. The residents now have time till June 20 to conduct 88-year-old Vinod Kothari’s funeral and prayer meeting. The BMC has granted an extension for the third time after the deadline of May 31 given by the Supreme Court had elapsed.
On Monday, the deadline was extended after residents requested the civic commissioner Sitaram Kunte for relief.
“We went to meet the commissioner asking him to extend the deadline because the last rites had to be conducted on Tuesday. We have also arranged a prayer meeting on Thursday, so the commissioner agreed to extend the dates,” said Vidya Srinivas, one of the core committee members.
The BMC was going to cut the water, electricity and gas connections on Tuesday.
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani, who heads the demolition drive preparations, said, “We have extended their deadline purely on humanitarian grounds and allowed them to complete the last rites and further prayers by Thursday. On Friday morning, the BMC will reach the spot and begin the demolition process.”
Residents hope that chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who has agreed to take the solicitor general’s opinion in the matter, will stay the demolition until the SG’s views are submitted.
“We hope that our deadline is extended till the end of monsoon. All of us are positive about the SG’s opinion, which may help save our homes,” said a resident, on condition of anonymity. Civic officials, however, clarified that the demolition will not be stayed for the SG’s opinion.
Last week, another society member Chakravarty Chawla, 82, died after a massive stroke and brain paralysis. The residents claim there have been six deaths since the SC ordered the demolition of the flats last year.