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Face off at Campa Cola: BMC officials disconnect utility services of illegal houses including Lata Mangeshkar's flat in the compound

Monday, 23 June 2014 - 8:02am IST | Agency: dna webdesk

  • Rajendra Gawankar dna

The residents of the Campa Cola Society are worried about their future, as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) continues its effort to demolish the building. After doggedly keeping out civic teams standing by to demolish their illegal flats, Campa Cola residents on Sunday said after a meeting with the chief minister that they would co-operate with the authorities. Members of the group who returned from the meeting with Prithviraj Chavan said he had assured to help them and they felt relieved. 

BMC had earlier given a May 2 deadline to the residents by which the residents failed to evict their homes.

LIVE updates:

* BMC officials start the process of disconnecting electricity, gas, and water of around 90 illegal flats in the Campa Cola compound. Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G-South Ward Keshav Ubale, informed that the demolition drive was being conducted peacefully. "There has been no confrontation with the residents. The drive has begun peacefully, and it may take us a couple of days to complete the process," he said. Read more 

* Of the illegal flats that will have their utility sevices cut off, one of them belongs to renowned singer Lata Mangeshkar, informs dna reporter on ground Eknath Manke. The singer owns a flat on the 8th floor of Esha Ekta apartments, one of the seven buildings in the Campa Cola compounds, he said.

Earlier, this month the playback singer had come out in support of residents of the Campa Cola housing society whose illegally constructed flats are set to be razed, terming the move as "unjust". "I want to say only one thing to the Maharashtra government with regards the Campa Cola compound. If the homes of these residents are razed, thousands of people will be rendered homeless, that includes children and senior citizens," the Bharat Ratna awardee tweeted. Read more

BJP leader Shaina NC questions BMC for targeting Campa Cola Society
BJP leader Shaina NC on Monday questioned the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) move to target the Campa Cola Society in Mumbai, when there were 56,000 other illegal buildings in the city. "The irony of this situation is that as all the action is taken against Campa Cola, even now after being given an assurance that if the utilities are cut out, even then, the 67000 permissible FSI will be with the residents, the question that still remains in the residents' mind is that why only Campa Cola Society when there are 56000 buildings like this in the city if Mumbai," said Shaina. Read more

Campa Cola residents hopeful of Prithviraj Chavan's assurance before arrival of BMC
Ahead of the arrival of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials, the residents of Campa Cola Compound expressed hope upon the assurance of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who said that after allowing BMC to cut power, water and gas supply the next step will be taken in their favor. In a bid to end 18 month long battle, the Campa Cola residents yesterday took a step of cooperation towards the system and agreed upon disconnecting power, water and gas supplies from their house. The step was taken with a hope that if they go with the system instead of going against it they might get some positive result. Read more

Campa Cola residents end resistance after meeting with Prithviraj Chavan
After doggedly keeping out civic teams standing by to demolish their illegal flats, Campa Cola residents on Sunday said after a meeting with the chief minister that they would co-operate with the authorities. Members of the group who returned from the meeting with Prithviraj Chavan said he had assured to help them and they felt relieved. "We have been assured that no irreversible damage would be caused to our flats and that the state government will think positively on the case on compassionate grounds provided we co-operate with the civic authorities and allow them to act according to the orders of the Supreme Court. We have about 67,000 sq ft that can be salvaged and the state government, BMC and residents can together come up with a way to save it," said Vidya Srinivas, a resident. Read more 

ALSO READ: Built on sand: Blame the State and not Campa Cola residents
It is possible some of the buyers were aware of the exact situation, certainly. But given the circumstances, it is equally plausible that they were not. The real estate sector in Maharashtra as a whole runs on a jugaad principle; it is understood that permissions are negotiable and municipal corporations are always open for business. The severe shortage of affordable housing further cuts into buyer agency. As a result, there are 56,000 illegal buildings in Mumbai, as perthe BMC. Sister city Thane has over 1,100 illegal or irregular buildings while the Pimpri-Chinchwad-Pune metro region has anywhere from 65,000 to 80,000 such structures. Read more

Campa Cola residents file mercy petition to President in view of BMC officials readying to demolish building
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." Read more 

Emotional appeals won't work now, says deputy civic chief in Campa Cola case
In what seems like a tactic to 'tire out' residents of Campa Cola Compound, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday repeated its 'go slow' approach during its drive to bring down illegal flats in the residential buildings. Even on the second day of the drive, BMC did not disconnect electricity and gas connections of the 90-odd unauthorised flats after residents continued to resist municipality's action. Like on Friday, BMC tried to engage the protesters in dialogue, asking them to let the authorities enter the premises and carry out demolition. While BMC's communicative approach did not yield result during the two-and-a-half hour struggle to begin the drive, it collected evidence — photographs and video grabs of protesters —to substantiate its case of contempt on part of residents. Read more

* Faced with strong opposition by the residents of Campa Cola, BMC officials wer forced to leave the spot for the day. They have, however, filed a police complaint against the residents for not allowing them to go ahead with the demolition drive as per court orders.

* A police complaint has been lodged against the residents of the Campa Cola compoud, for not allowing the BMC workers to proceed with the court ordered demolition of illegal flats.

Campa Cola case: Complaint filed against defiant residents
In face of increasing resistance to eviction from Campa Cola compound residents, the civic body here has filed a police complaint against those preventing officials from implementing the Supreme Court order even as its team has decided to try again to convince the occupants to leave the illegal flats today before opting for use of force. According to Worli police, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) officials approached the cops late last evening armed with the video recording of their thwarted attempts yesterday to enter the housing complex in South Mumbai to cut off essential supplies to illegal flats. "The MCGM approached us late last night and filed a complaint against the residents of the Society. They have also provided us with the video footage of their attempts to enter the compound, which was blocked by the residents," an official from Worli police station told. Read more

*  Campa Cola may file fresh application; counsel seeks time
Retreating from its stand that Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) had no say in issuance of deemed conveyance of land and buildings to its six societies, the Campa Cola Housing Society, Worli has said it was willing to consider filing fresh application before Registrar of Societies making the civic body a party. On Friday, counsel for the society Prasad Dhakephalkar sought time before Bombay high court to seek instructions from his clients on whether they were willing to file fresh application making MCGM and Pure Drinks Pvt Ltd, which had leased the land from the corporation, a party. Read more

BMC goes slow on Day 1 of Campa demolition drive
BMC and the Mumbai police went slow on Friday, the first day of the former's drive to demolish illegal flats in Worli's Campa Cola Compound. They didn't cut gas and electricity connections, citing resistance by residents. BMC said disconnecting electricity and gas supply to unauthorised flats could not be undertaken as the residents blocked entry points to the buildings and refused to budge despite a Supreme Court (SC) order in this regard, amounting to contempt. Read more

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan rules out legislation to save Campa Cola
Making it clear that his Government would not save Campa Cola building, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday said that Government would not legislate for a single building. Replying to criticism by BJP state unit resident Devendra Fadanavis that Government did not do anything in six month’s time given by the Court, Chief Minister Chavan said that the resident knew that it is unauthorised and after the matter reached High Court and Supreme Court, it was ruled in 2013 that the illegal flats would be demolished. He pointed out that the Supreme Court also has stated in its order that no state authority should intervene in this matter and carry out demolition. Read more

ALSO READ:  If Prithviraj Chavan can overturn SC's bar dancer judgment, why not Campa Cola?

Why isn't the Chief Minister of State Prithviraj Chavan trying to help the residents on humanitarian grounds? According to the residents, if Chavan wants he can seek opinions and help from the Attorrney General or the Solicitor General on the issue. But no such move has been made as of yet. READ MORE

BMC officials arrive at Campa Cola once again to knock down flats

Brihan Mumbai Corporation (BMC) officials once again arrived at the Campa Cola compound to carry out the demolition of the flats even as the residents are strongly resisting the move to raze their homes to the ground. The residents again blocked the entrance to the compound and folded hands in front of BMC officials to not demolish their flats. 

BMC officials have returned to the Campa Cola compound with requests to the protesting residents to allow them to implement the court order. Keeping their approach non-aggressive, the BMC has also confirmed that they may take matter to the court alleging contempt of court. READ MORE

* The BMC is expected to file a contempt of court petition against the Campa Cola residents after they blocked the civic authorities from entering the society to carry out the eviction of illegal flats, which are to be demolished as per the Supreme Court order.

* BMC officials have left the Campa Cola compud after residence put up a strong resistance against the scheduled demolitions. The BMC officials requested the residence and supporters to allow them into the complex, considering the final decision was Supreme Court order. The BMC will bow decide further course of action after speaking with senior officials as well and the Mumbai police. They are likely to return with additional police force.

Mumbai civic officials, residents face off at Campa Cola society
17 days after the Supreme Court rejected a petition by the residents against its earlier order asking them to vacate the flats, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) reached the complex along with the police to cut power, water and piped gas supply to the illegal flats. However, they were prevented by slogan-shouting residents of the Campa Cola Housing Society in upscale Worli, who closed the iron gates and placed bamboo poles to prevent them from entering. "After issuing notices to the residents of Campa Cola under Section 488 of the MCGM Act, the deadline for the residents to vacate their flats has ended today. We have only come to cut off the water, electric and gas supply of the residents," an MCGM official present at the site said. Read more

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has ruled out state intervention in the Campa Cola issue
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday said the state government will not intervene in the Campa Cola building issue as the Supreme Court has not given any relief to residents of the society against demolition of their illegal flats. "The government is unable to provide relief to the Campa Cola residents as the Supreme Court has refused to grant any relief to the residents who had moved the court against their eviction," Chavan told reporters here. Read more 

ALSO READ: If Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan can go against Supreme Court to ban dance bars, why can’t he do the same for Campa homes?

* Additional Commissioner of Police Madhukar Pandey arrives at Campa Cola compound to assess the situation. 

*  Campa Cola residents perform 'havan' blocking entry to BMC officials for demolition
The residents of Campa Cola Compound in Mumbai's Worli protested outside the building as the officials of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) arrived at the compound to carry out the demolition. BMC will begin the eviction process today by disconnecting power, water and gas supplies to the illegal flats. The residents though have barricaded the compound to prevent the officials from disconnecting the power supply. Read more

* South Mumbai MP Arvind Sawant, Shaina NC, and Mangal Prabhat Lodha arrive at the Campa Cola compound in solidarity of the residents

* RPI (Athavale) workers have been detained by the Mumbai Police, following demonstrations in support of the residents.

* Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu spoke on the Campa Cola Compound issue, stating, "What can we do? Matter is in the court and in advanced stages. Our sympathies are with the residents."

* Campa Cola Compound residents fold hands and pray to BMC officials 

Campa Cola residents perform 'havan' before arrival of BMC staff
Ahead of a possible face-off between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities and the Campa Cola Society in Worli, worried residents performed a fire ritual on Friday. The BMC is supposed to begin the building's demolition today, by disconnecting power, water and gas supplies to all illegal flats. The BMC had earlier given a May 2 deadline to the residents. Residents had then stood their ground and did not move out. Read more 


BMC readies its hammer, Campa Cola residents worry for their elderly
The BMC on Thursday reiterated that it will file a contempt petition before the Supreme Court (SC) if any resident comes in the way of its demolition of illegal flats in Worli’s Campa Cola compound. It, however, ruled out possibility of forcible eviction. The demolition drive begins on Friday. BMC will undertake the drive to raze around 96 flats as per the SC order following its observation of FSI violations across seven buildings in the compound. The court’s order was passed in February 2013, while the breather given to the residents concerned ended on May 31 this year. “We are going to start the demolition tomorrow. We are going to file a contempt petition if the residents resist our action. To support our claim, we will also videograph the drive. We do not intend to forcibly evict residents. There will be a dialogue with them, but we won't use force,” additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said. Read more

Supreme Court decision dashes last hopes of Campa Cola residents

The Supreme Court's dismissal of the Campa Cola residents' plea on Tuesday against demolition of the illegal flats in the society, has left them dejected. Several residents are left with no option but to start packing their belongings. "As of now, we have decided to pack our belongings and move to the tents that we will be putting up behind our society. Depending on the BMC's next plan of action, we will decide when to move there," said Vidya Srinivas, a member of the society. Read more

Campa Cola residents meet police chief Rakesh Maria, complain of harassment 
Residents of Campa Cola Compound on Wednesday called city police chief Rakesh Maria, complaining about alleged harassment on the part of Worli cops. The residents alleged harassment and expressed apprehension at being detained before BMC's demolition drive, set to begin on June 20. More than 90 flats in the compound are set to be razed following a Supreme Court (SC) order in this regard. The apex court had last year ordered BMC to bring down the flats due to FSI violation. "We called on Maria on Wednesday afternoon to communicate about the harassment. We have been subject to the treatment since last week. They summoned four of the residents to the police station and asked us to report. The policemen can be seen at the Compound and they call on residents at odd hours. This has left residents a scared lot, without any reason," said a resident wishing anonymity. Read more

ALSO READ: Demolition of illegal Campa Cola flats in Mumbai to be filmed
The demolition of illegal flats in Campa Cola compound beginning June 20 will be filmed and used as proof against the residents if they offer resistance, the city's municipal body said on Tuesday. "We will be video-recording the entire demolition process, which we will carry out from June 20, so that it can be used as proof against residents in the Supreme Court if they stop us from performing our duties," Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner said. Read more

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