Campa Cola residents ask why the government has different set of rules for people belonging to different classes.
Even though the Supreme Court has refused to grant an extension for the Campa Cola compound residents to vacate their premises by May, 31 residents have been reluctant to evacuate their houses. They had forwarded a plea to the apex court for allowing them stay in the building till the end of monsoon season which was turned down by the court. Residents are unhappy with the government which has failed to resolve their problems by regularising the buildings.
According to them, if the government can extend the cut off dates of slums in Mumbai to 2000 why can’t it protect the buildings too. They have also alleged that the government is indulging in vote bank politics by appeasing the slum voters by regularising the slums during the onset of election at the same time turning a blind eye towards the problems faced by them. Residents have asked why different set of rules is applicable for different class of people. Many of them are worried about where they will stay as monsoon season is just round the corner.
Karan Sethia, a member of the core committee of the Campa Cola Residents Welfare Association said, “If the government can increase the cut-off for slum regularisation up to 2000, why can’t they take steps to regularise residential buildings? The BMC still refuses to regularise the illegal flats as per the Development Control Regulations of 1991 on the grounds that our buildings were constructed following the 1963 DCR.”
Many senior citizens too stay in the building who will find it difficult to relocate to a different place. As per an earlier Supreme Court order, the residents of Campa Cola society will have to vacate their apartments today. Despite the Supreme Court’s eviction order, none of the occupants of the 96 illegal flats in the seven buildings have handed over keys to BMC officials, who have set up a counter for the purpose. The deadlock between the residents and the BMC officials continues.
The BMC had earlier this week served notices to residents asking them to vacate the premises by June 1, 2014.
“In the event of failure to hand over keys of the premises along with vacant physical possession by June 1, further legal action will be taken against you,” the BMC letter had stated.
A bench of justices Jagdish Singh Khehar and C Nagappan also agreed to hear the matter on Tuesday after senior counsel Vikas Singh told the apex court that it was a human problem as 40 families would be evicted.
Another resident of the compound demanded that the civic body should permit them to stay them in the building until the end of monsoon in October, “Monsoons are approaching, we are asking the government not to put us out on the streets and face Mumbai rains. We need some time to find an alternate place to stay,” the resident said.
Seven high-rises were constructed at what is called the Campa Cola Compound, between 1981 and 1989. The builders had permission for only five floors, but constructed several more. One of the buildings, Midtown, has 20 floors. Another building, Orchid, has 17.