Buoyed by the Bombay high court (HC) backing its order to demolish 140 unauthorised flats in Worli’s Campa Cola complex, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday reiterated that it would go ahead with the exercise on May 2.
This comes as a blow to residents, who had hoped for more time to vacate their flats and even moved the court with this plea. The civic body, which had earlier planned the demolitions on Monday – giving residents a 48-hour demolition notice on Friday – had to postpone the drive to May 2, as the police expressed inability to offer civic officials any protection in view of the preparations for May 1, Maharashtra Day. It insisted on Tuesday that it would not delay the exercise anymore.
Now, the only hope for residents if they want more time is if the police defer the demolition again.
The civic body seems determined to go ahead with the plan and has categorically stated that it will not even wait for the Supreme Court to hear the review petition filed by residents against the SC’s February 27, 2013, order that asked the BMC to demolish all illegal floors on the building at the earliest.
Rejecting the demand for more time, additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani, rejecting the demand for more time, said, “The SC order in February had specifically told us to demolish [the unauthorised flats]at the earliest. It did not leave any scope for any review of the petition.”
“We are completely prepared for these demolitions and we even have our teams ready for it. The only problem can be if the police back out yet again and delay it. There has been no indication of this so far,” said a senior civic official.
The unauthorised flats – spread across 35 flats in seven buildings of the upscale complex at Worli – are set to be demolished because the BMC had only granted the builders permission for five-storey buildings on the plot. The builders allegedly constructed the high-rises without seeking civic permission and did not give occupancy certificates to homebuyers.