Sunday, January 23, 2022
HomeEditorialCampa Cola is result of builder-officer nexus

Campa Cola is result of builder-officer nexus

Finally, time has run out for residents of Campa Cola society to save their homes from demolition. Demolition in Mumbai is not a new thing, city has seen much big and small relegation, but Campa Cola being a place of educated people grabbed good amount of media coverage hitting the headlines for long time. Government departments have become a JOKE, at first place, why to set a deadline? It seems that Congress government could not take the pressure of public annoyance going against the government and hence a reversal. Builders should be made accountable in such cases and strong action should be taken against them then only such instances of taking the buyer for a ride will stop. If not, violations will continue by builders and the price for such violations will be paid by hapless people. Even if the SC goes ahead with demolition, first thing which should happen is to JAIL the builder, the bureaucrats and the netas responsible for this and then collapse. Only this acts as a deterrent against the bureaucrats without whom, such things would never have occured Rules are made only to be flouted since flouting is seen as the means of money making. If the flat owners lose their flats, they should not be the only ones to lose, entire web must be punished. Until then, this is not justice.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced that nothing can be done in Campa Cola case. Law will take its own course. Campa Cola’s residents need to vacate illegal flats. The flats will be demolished soon. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sent notices to owners of illegal flats to hand over keys to the civic body between June 10 and June 12. Residents will have to move out by June 12. While the Supreme Court has decided on the demolition of 96 illegal flats on 35 illegal floors at the Campa Cola compound, residents are hoping against hope for a solution that will save their homes. With monsoons approaching, it is unlikely that demolition will start immediately and residents say they will fight for their homes as long as they can. The residents are now planning to pitch tents in the compound itself and stay in the compound till the BMC forces them out. Last year, the Supreme Court had ordered that families must vacate the illegal apartments by May 31 so that the illegal floors can be demolished. But the residents did not surrender keys of their flats to the BMC even though the civic body issued a notice stating that they might have to face legal consequences if they did not do so.

Why BMC is not taking action against its officers who allowed the construction of 35 illegal floors? If floors were illegal then how flat registration were done and water, electricity given to them? Immediately builder should be arrested and his all property should be confiscated and with that compensation should be given to these family members. Police should arrest all the BMC officials those were involved in this and if retired then their pension should be ceased for helping the builder. These poor people are easy target. If Builder and BMC officials are arrested then some influential politicians name may come and the case will close automatically. Unfortunately, no one has raised any voice against the builder who did this illegal construction and minted money by fooling people. Citizens should blacklist such builders, their sister concern institutes and bankrupt them. Half of Mumbai is illegal; BMC takes Rs. 500 per square feet of floor space from builders and this is the ongoing rate of corruption. Earlier also Mumbai police broke open the gates of the complex with the help of bulldozer and entered the campus along with the BMC officials.

Clearly, public authorities were not performing their duty and therefore innocent people were fooled. If these authorities could not figure out for such a long time, how lay persons are expected to be “experts” to have knowledge of everything? If residents knew that the flats are unauthorised, would they purchase them investing their hard-earned money? There must be aged, women and children in these flats. Why to punish them? Most disturbing part is the order to demolish without considering all these factors. If it was a slum with lot of voters then leaders from all the political parties might have come for their help and BMC would have kept themselves away from it. The state government would have rushed with an ordinance to quash the SC order. It is a small colony of middle class people whose votes are not so valuable. It is also not a colony of influential politicians as Adarsh Society. Why can’t they do such eviction near Santacruz Airport?

With the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation authorities firm on taking action against illegal flats in the Campa Cola Housing Society, affected families earlier on Wednesday braced for a face-off and blocked entry by parking vehicles near the gate. The civic staff had disconnected power, water and gas connections in the empty flats on Tuesday. The residents, who allege that they have been singled out for action despite over 55,000 illegal constructions in the city, spent a restless night ahead of the civic action. The Supreme Court had earlier set November 11 deadline to vacate 102 flats declared as 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. 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. The 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. The present days are worse than the days during the British Rule. Congress should be thrown out of India and the Italians sent back to their mother land. Now, an example must be made out of every BMC commissioner, state ministers and other office holders who created this chaos. They colluded with builders and continue to do so for the torture of ordinary citizens. How is this allowed to go on? Since everybody is involved in this scam so we need to find where the governance failed. However people’s mindset need to change -for just saving few lakhs, we buy apartments without permission hoping that we are not the only one buying illegal flats and somehow escape authority. It’s we who are responsible for it.

Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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