MUMBAI: After facing flak for being “inhuman” when evicting residents to raze the 35 illegal floors in Worli’s Campa Cola compound last November, the BMC is now treading carefully.
On May 26, the BMC started issuing notices to those living in the illegal flats of the seven buildings urging them to “peacefully vacate their flats and submit their keys with the assistant engineer (maintenance) in the G-south ward office” between May 29 and June 2, following which a civic official will visit the flats and verify if they have been vacated. But if the residents do not submit their keys till June 2, the BMC said it will approach the Supreme Court for directions.
“Last November, the SC had granted an extension on humanitarian grounds and told the residents to submit an undertaking that they will vacate the flats peacefully by May 31. If they do not do so, we’ll go to court. Their inaction will amount to contempt of court,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner.
Campa Cola compound houses seven buildings—Midtown, Esha Ekta Apartments, Shubh Apartments, Patel Apartments (two buildings), B Y Apartments and Orchid—which together have 35 illegal floors with 99 flats spread over 90,000sq ft of area. While the builders were granted permission for ground-plus-five floors, Midtown went up to 20 floors, Orchid to 17, Esha Ekta to eight, Shubh to seven and BY and Patel up to six floors each.
In November 2013, when BMC officials and the police turned up at the Campa Cola gates to demolish the illegal floors, women and kids formed a human chain and did not let them in. Police had to use force and break down the gates.
Meanwhile, the BMC said it has re-invited tenders for razing the illegal floors as no contractor had evinced interest when they were floated earlier.