In the backdrop of the BMC officials visiting the Campa Cola building in its third day, there is a new twist to this fiasco with the residents submitting a mercy petition to the President to come up with solutions and political leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) sympathising with the residents' demand.
BJP leader Shaina NC said," The BMC officials have to do what they need to do. But there are cases where a woman just fainted, a senior citizen wants to commit suicide. Four people have died, six people are in the hospital. There needs to be a humanitarian plea. The culprits are the builders and the BMC officials thirty years back and you are penalising these residents today."
"There has been a mercy petition which has been filed to the president only requesting come up with solutions. If you want to demolish and rebuild, if you want to forfeit some part of land, if you want them to pay penalties, they are open to all, but show some mercy when there are so many people who have died. I think we have to wait and watch, the BMC has to do its job. India is watching what is happening here when there are several buildings in Mumbai with the same story," she added.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader, Bala Nandgaonkar said: "I had a telephoned the chief minister office. We want to meet the chief minister, Shaina NC, myself and residents of Campa Cola, we don't want to disrespect law and Supreme Court. Today there is a meeting of Campa Cola residents. The problem that they have is that at least four to five senior citizens have passed away and hence they are worried. Secondly they have submitted a mercy petition to the President and one must see that aspect and that's why we have asked the BMC to give some time."
"We have asked the BMC official not to use force, people here are suffering for the mistakes of others which is a wrong thing,' he added.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Anand Waghlarkar today warned the residents of Campa Cola of facing serious repercussions if they continue to create roadblocks in BMC's work.
"Like we came in the other two days, today also we have come prepared at the unauthorised flats in order to cut all the services like electricity, water and gas supply. We have been trying to pursuade them for the last two days but they are not ready to listen. Instead they have closed their doors and are objecting on our work and they are making a big mistake," Waghlarkar said.
"We could have used force, but if they continue to show defiance then we have to take strong steps. As per situation we will take a decision," he added.
The residents of the Campa Cola society, who stalled the demolition of their flats for two days, are standing their ground even as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials earlier arrived for the third time to raze their flats.
A resident of the compound said, "We are standing here for our rights. Until we get justice we won't go from here. Pressure on our minds is that what will happen now. What will they do to us next? We are under stress about that when will they give us justice. We are sitting here hungry."
The resident also added, "We are not able to get houses on rent also, people do not believe us. They feel if we will give them rent on time or not or are asking for double rent. People now know about Campa Cola. There are many building like this but investigation has only been done on Campa cola. BMC is making us suffer but there is no investigation on BMC. People are eating and making money even by throwing us out of our houses and are building their own palaces by that money."
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 BMC was supposed to begin the building's demolition on Friday, by disconnecting power, water and gas supplies to all illegal flats. The residents, however, blocked the attempts of the authorities to enter the compounds.