Campa Cola compound: BMC moves to disconnect water, power

Mumbai, Nov 12: Over 100 families in Campa Cola housing colony today barricaded themselves and refused to move out of the compound in south Mumbai even as the civic body initiated action to disconnect power, water and gas connections before going in for demolition of illegal floors.

"Three teams of the BMC have entered the building to disconnect water, gas and electricity connections. The residents had given an affidavit that they will evict their flats by November 11," BMC deputy commissioner Kishore Kshirsagar told reporters.

"Our officials will see whether they have vacated their flats and accordingly disconnect the water, gas and electricity connections," he said. "The residents are opposing the demolition. We are trying to handle the situation peacefully and avoid using force," he said.

Several police personnel have been deployed at the spot to prevent any untoward incident, Kshirsagar said. The demolition teams of the civic body have also reached the spot but the actual demolition of the illegal floors is unlikely to take place today, a civic official said.

Since the morning, the residents parked their vehicles near the gate, blocking access and said they would not allow civic staff to enter the premises. The Supreme Court had set November 11 deadline to vacate 102 flats that have been declared illegal.

Families living in the compound had pinned their hopes on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan stepping in and saving their homes by passing an ordinance to regularise their flats. Chavan does not want to go against the legal opinion of the advocate general.

Seven high-rise buildings were constructed at the Campa Cola Compound between 1981 and 1989. The builders had permission for only five floors, but constructed several more. While one of the buildings has 20 floors, another has 17.

Fighting a legal battle since 2005, the residents said they were duped by the builders and will be on the roads if their flats were pulled down.


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