For more than 18 months, residents of Campa Cola had been fighting tooth and nail to save their homes. But a meeting with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Sunday made them change their stance, and they allowed the civic staff to disconnect essential utilities.
HT has learnt that the residents gave in only after an understanding was struck with the chief minister.
According to sources, as part of this understanding, Chavan has called off the physical demolition of the illegal flats till the Supreme Court hears and decides on a petition filed by the residents. The case is slated to come up on June 30.
This comes in view of the residents’ fresh proposal that it plans to submit, wherein it has mooted a joint redevelopment project of the society with the builder, Krishna Developers, who has the right to develop the adjoining part of the plot.
Sources said Chavan indicated that the state government would ‘try and help as much as it could’, but within the ambit of the law.
According to insiders, this is also the reason for the civic body’s about-turn. In November last year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials had brought along hammers and a JCB machine into the society premises to start demolishing walls and windows of the flats to ensure that they were inhabitable.
This time, however, the civic body has said that it will not begin the process any time soon.
“Monday’s task only included disconnecting water, gas and power supplies,” said Anand Waghralkar, deputy municipal commissioner.
Another source, who was a part of the residents meeting with the CM, said the deal gains greater significance with the formulation of the new proposal gathering steam.
HT had earlier reported how residents were discussing a proposal by which the entire society, both legal and illegal flats, could be redeveloped and the demolition could be avoided.
According to residents, if they win the litigation against the civic body, they will hand over the conveyance rights of the plot to Krishna Developers, who can build fl ats for all members and then use the remaining floor space index commercially.