Will Maharashtra govt help Campa Cola residents?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 02, 2015 20:30 IST

After 21 months of protests, the demand by residents of the Campa Cola Compound in Worli to save their 102 illegal flats from demolition may finally be heeded.

The Supreme Court on Friday redirected the state and civic body to consider the Campa Cola residents’ application to regularise the illegal flats in the compound.

The residents hope the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena government in the state will process and accept their proposals for regularisation that they have submitted earlier. They also plan to meet chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“The BJP and the Shiv Sena have supported us from the beginning of our struggle. We hope they will support us now too and consider our proposal. The court order has come as a huge relief for us,” said Nandini Mehta, spokesperson of the Campa Cola Compound and a resident of Midtown Apartments.

According to the proposal submitted by residents earlier, only 16 flats on the topmost floor of the seven buildings in the compound need to be demolished, while the remaining 83 flats could be regularised, as per the permissible floor space index (FSI) available under the 1991 Development Control Regulations.

Some of the other proposals sent to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) include using the FSI from an adjacent plot or the adjoining slum redevelopment projects to regularise the flats. “We have already sent our proposals to the BMC, which we hope will be reconsidered now. We will seek a meeting again with the chief minister to present our proposal,” said Mehta.

The decision, however, rests with the BMC which, in the past, had rejected the residents’ pleas of regularisation, while upholding the Supreme Court’s February 27, 2013 demolition order.

“Even if the BMC stays firm on its earlier stand, we are confident the BJP-led state government can intervene and instruct them to consider our proposal,” said another resident, on condition of anonymity. Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte was not available for comment.

After sustained protests for more than a year against the demolition proposed by the BMC, the residents gave up in June last year, following which the BMC had disconnected the gas and power supplies of the illegal flats.

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