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Campa Cola Compound residents in a fix after Bombay high court’s order

The Bombay high court on Tuesday held that the BMC order was illegal as the deputy municipal commissioner went exceeded his brief

mumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2018 23:49 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Campa Cola Compound,Bombay high court
The compound, which is a industrial plot measuring 17,000 sqm as per the BMC records, is also used for residential purpose, after taking permissions from the state. (Bhushan Koyande/HT)

Residents of Campa Cola Compound in Worli are in a quandary as the Bombay high court rapped the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for exceeding its brief and trying to transfer the lease of the land to the society and builder.

The deputy municipal commissioner (improvement) had in July 2016 directed the six co-operative housing societies in the compound to form a federation and transfer the lease, but with stringent conditions.

The Bombay high court on Tuesday held that the order was illegal as the DMC went much beyond what he was supposed to do. It allowed civic chief Ajoy Mehta to strike down the order and initiate a fresh hearing.

“The federation would have got the title of the land. Now we have to wait for a new order,” said a member of the federation, who declined to come on record since the issue is sub-judice. He said residents primarily objected to the hefty amount of Rs52 crore imposed on them as premium and penalty charges for transferring the lease to the federation.

When HT visited the compound on Wednesday, residents refuse to speak on record. “We have had enough. Now we are waiting for something positive to happen,”said one of them. Some were confused about the implications of the order, while others termed it disheartening. “We really want the matter to come to an end as this just increases our insecurity,” said another resident. A couple of them rued that they are not getting buyers even at a discounted rate owing to the ongoing legal battle.

The residential complex was mired in a controversy for years owing to illegal construction that led to a demolition order for the 96 households. The violations included use of floor space index (FSI) over and above the permissible limit, and illegal construction of three floors.

Many recalled the June 2014 incident when the BMC cut off electricity, water and gas supplies, and was ready to demolish houses. They recounted how they almost lost their houses till the apex court intervened and asked the state government to work out an amicable solution.

With a long legal battle and a promise from the state, residents occupied their flats after the BMC restored power supply in March 2015.

On Tuesday, the court was hearing a petition filed by businessman Chandru Khemlani who challenged the BMC’s order. The DMC had issued the order on July 14, 2016 on a show cause notice issued in August 2010 for termination of lease of civic lands to Pure Drinks over purported breaches of the lease agreement.

The compound, which is a industrial plot measuring 17,000 sqm as per the BMC records, is also used for residential purpose, after taking permissions from the state.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 23:49 IST