Mumbai's Campa Cola row: Know the whole issue

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Campa Cola residents protesting against eviction drive of BMC
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to explore the possibility of regularising the illegally constructed flats in Campa Cola Society in South Mumbai. This after the residents of the society filed fresh petition requesting to regularise the illegally constructed flats. The apex court has asked the BMC and Maharashtra Government to reply within three weeks on the issue. The residents said that they have paid the fine imposed by BMC and want to regularise the building.

What is the issue:

The controversial Campa Cola compound housing complex was built by gangster-turned-real estate heavyweight Yusuf Patel, among others.

Patel and his partners were given permission to construct nine buildings of five floors each. But they constructed seven buildings, three of which had six floors, and the other four had seven, eight, 17 and 20 floors.

According to BMC, the builders were permitted to construct only five floors and all the floors above that are illegal.

Knowing that the extra floors were unauthorised, they sold them at a price lower than the market rate.

Reports suggest that some buyers were aware of the fact that flats were illegal.

The illegalities first came to light in 1999.

In 2005, the residents realised that the building's plans were never officially passed and none of the residents given occupation certificates despite residing in the buildings for 25 years.

Who is at fault?

The builders, who built and sold the flats in the Campa Cola Society.

The occupants who bought the flats with their hard-earned money.

The BMC, which registered the flats.

The Maharashtra Government which didn't take timely action.

Major developments in the case

Around 140 families, who have been living there for more than 25 years, filed a review petition in the Supreme Court alleging that a nexus between the civic body and builders was behind their ordeal.

The Supreme Court, in its order on February 2013, permitted the BMC to demolish the unauthorised floors.

The SC extended the deadline till May 31, 2014.

The Supreme Court on June 3 dismissed the plea of the residents against an earlier order asking them to vacate their apartments by May 31.

The deadline for vacating the flats expired on June 20. Following that, the BMC officials cut off essential services like water and power to them, in an attempt to force the occupants to leave the apartments.

What next?

Only an Ordinance can save the flats from demolition.

The Maharashtra Government is hesitant to promulgate an ordinance fearing similar demands from other illegal colonies.

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