Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is the only authority who can save their homes, residents of illegal floors at Worli’s Campa Cola Compound feel. The residents, who are running out of legal options, have appealed Chavan to use his discretionary powers to save their homes.
According to the recent Supreme Court directive, the residents face eviction by November 11 due to FSI violations.
Speaking to media persons on Thursday, the residents also claimed support of Union minister for state Milind Deora, minister of state for housing Sachin Ahir, legislator-developer Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, ex-Sheriff Nana Chudasama in their fight to retain what have been their homes for over 25 years.
“It is definitely in the hands of Chavan to help us. Many politicians have written to the chief minister conveying their support for us. So, we hereby appeal him to look into our plight,” said Nandini Mehta, one of the occupants, adding the residents were ready to pay penalty for the violations. “We met Chavan two months ago. But that was before the latest SC directive. Now, we again request as he is the only hope,” she said even as residents said they don’t want to wait for relief until the last moment.
The residents cited instances of regularising illegal structures in other states like Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Jharkhand. “If he wants, the CM can help us. Punish us financially than physically. We are ready to pay for the mistakes that the developers committed,” she urged.
Meanwhile, the residents accused BMC of ignoring their pleas. On September 11, hearing a Special Leave Petition filed by residents, the apex court had told occupants that they can approach the civic body to see if the flats can be regularised. “But the BMC is not considering the September direction and instead keeps citing the demolition order of February,” another resident said and accused the civic body of not sharing data relating to number of illegal structures despite filing application under RTI Act.
The residents accused BMC of being hand-in-glove with the developers in the 1980s and conveniently not taking action against its officials. “They don’t understand what we are going through. People have tried committing suicide. They are under constant pressure,” said a sulking Rekha Parekh during the press meet.
Meanwhile, the residents said they were not considering filing a curative petition now. “We are pinning hopes only on what Chavan can do for us,” a resident concluded.
The SC had in February ordered to bring down unauthorised flats owing to FSI violations
Subsequently, BMC had served 48-hour evacuation notice to occupants of 99 illegal flats. The residents plea for a stay on the notice was rejected by the HC
This forced residents to move SC which, on May 2, gave them a five-month breather to evacuate
When the residents again approached the apex court, the SC granted another breather which ends on November 11.