MUMBAI: June 12 marks the final deadline for residents of the illegal flats at Worli’s Campa Cola compound to vacate their apartments and hand over the keys to the local G South ward office. The BMC on June 13 is likely to serve notices, saying they will enter their premises and take action to evacuate the occupants.
Fault lines are visible within the compound as eviction day nears. The family of Campa’s oldest resident, Vinod Kothari of Patel Apartments, said on Wednesday that they, along with some members, were willing to hand over the keys to the BMC by Thursday’s deadline. But Sunanda Verma of Midtown joined the core committee to say not a single resident would do so.
Devyani Jayakar, the secretary of Orchid Apartment, said, “I do not agree with the way in which the fight to save Campa Cola has been conducted from the beginning. In 2010, when then CM Ashok Chavan pointed out that 1,774 sq m was illegal, we should have seized the chance to regularize the rest. But the core committee opted to file a plea under DCR 91, which we were not entitled to because our plot falls under CRZ-II. The BMC said in 2002 that 19 flats were illegal. Rather than challenge their authority, we should have accepted this fact and urged them to regularize the remainder. Instead we are now losing 102 apartments.”
Jayakar said the society representatives did not even ask the Supreme Court to grant the sanctioned FSI. “Even MP Gopal Shetty has repeatedly said the case had been mismanaged by residents,” she said. “Later of course, the core committee requested the BMC to grant permissible FSI but ever since, all the authorities are hiding behind the SC order.”
Former police commissioner Julio Ribeiro on June 5 wrote to civic chief Sitaram Kunte, asking why the BMC did not act against contractors and officials responsible for building the illegal floors.