Residents have agreed to disconnect power and water supply but refuse to hand over keys to the BMC.
The Campa Cola Society residents have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent the demolition of their building. BJP leader Shaina NC and MNS leader Balanandgaonkar had a meeting with the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who said that the state will seek legal help in this matter and follow the guidelines of the Supreme Court. Chavan said that for the time being the utilities like power and water supply will be disconnected but the building will not be razed. In order to end the stalemate the residents have agreed to disconnect power and water supply but they are reluctant to hand over the keys to the BMC. Residents had changed their stand after two protestors had to be taken to hospital during protests.
While the residents agreed to comply with the Supreme Court order, they said that they will explore all legal options available for them. “We want to be with the system and try and get the best that we can. We have not done anything wrong, but we are willing to compromise. We are hoping for relief by legal means, however that happens,” a resident said.
Residents are finding it difficult to avail accommodation on rent as people do not trust them. Landlords are not sure whether residents would pay them rent on time. They also are unhappy that the BMC has been focussing only on Campa Cola Compound and has not taken action against many other illegal buildings existing in the city.
“We have realised that fighting will not get us anything, everyone was stressed. We would rather go and work with the government. We cannot see our sisters, our mothers to be in hospital. Whatever incident has happened was wrong,” a resident said.
The defiant residents wrote a mercy petition to President Pranab Mukherjee under article 143(1) of the Constitution urging him to seek opinion from the Supreme Court on the case.
“We have written to the President and have humbly stated the ways in which the illegal flats can be regularised. We have also requested him to pardon our society as a lot of senior citizens staying here have nowhere else to go,” said a resident.
BJP leader Shaina NC hit out at the BMC saying, “The BMC needs to be more humane. They cannot displace residents in such a manner. It is the builders who must be punished. They must come up with more reasonable solutions.”
Earlier the BMC had filed a police complaint against the flat owners for trying to prevent officials from implementing the Supreme Court order to raze the illegal building. The MCGM deadline for vacating the flats expired on June 20 and as part of their plan to force the occupants to hand over the apartments.