After a three day struggle, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) demolition squad entered the Campa Cola compound in Worli. The civic body formed 12 teams comprising of workers from electricity board, gas supply agency and BMC's water supply department that will disconnect utility services to 102 flats in seven buildings.
Watch:BMC officials begin cutting off utility supplies of Campa Cola residents
"We will only disconnect the supply connections which may take two days. There will be no demolition action until further orders are given," said deputy municipal commissioner Anand Wagaralkar.
The residents decided to allow the BMC on Monday after they were assured by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan that the matter will be looked into to find a solution.
"He seemed positive and we are hopeful he will help us this time. He told us to comply with the SC order, so we withdrew our protest,"said Ashish Jalan, one of the residents who had met the CM.
HT Edit: Lessons from the Campa Cola saga
The residents are however firm they will not handover the keys of their flats. "We have not given up. We are still fighting but now will fight from outside our house," said another resident.
Last year in June, the Supreme Court (SC) had ordered families in nearly 100 flats across 35 illegal floors in the compound - located in the plush Worli area of south Mumbai - to vacate the buildings by May. But the residents stayed put, and did not hand over the keys by June 12, the stipulated date.
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.
The residents have also written to President Pranab Mukherjee, hoping for a presidential "pardon" considering the number of senior citizens living on the premises.
On Sunday, officials arrived at the Campa Cola compound at 11.45am, but were blocked again by the defiant residents from entering the premises.
BMC officials had warned that if the residents do not allow them to implement the SC orders, they would have to use force. The civic body had also registered a police case against the society residents for obstructing the public servants from discharging their duties on Friday.
The Campa Cola compound lost its plea in the apex court on June 3 when it challenged its earlier order of February 27 to vacate the building by May 31.