The state government’s swift and populist decision to ban dance bars, contradicting a Supreme Court (SC) order passed last year, has baffled a section of Campa Cola Compound residents, who have been demanding chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to give them a solution since a year.
The cabinet on June 12 approved a draft amendment bill of banning dance bars, including ones at three and five-star hotels. While doing so, the Chavan-led dispensation over-ruled the SC order that lifted the government ban on dance bars, clamped in 2005.
The SC had, in Feb last year, ordered demolition of 96 illegal flats due to FSI violations. The residents have since then been demanding Chavan to grant them relief by passing an ordinance. The CM, however, maintained that he cannot go against the apex court’s order.
In the backdrop of the same, the occupants have questioned the government over its ‘efficiency’ towards banning dance bars, while they are left shelter-less.
“We are surprised. This is the same government which has been saying that it cannot go against the SC order in connection with Campa Cola. But when it comes to a populist decision like banning dance bars, they have acted swiftly and have not shown such promptness in our case,” Sunanda Verma, a resident facing eviction, reacted.
Dr Sriniwas, a resident of Mid Town apartments in the compound, seconded Verma. “This shows that there are ways to protect us if the government has the will to do so. But they are not willing to, is our concern,” Sriniwas said.
Following the SC order, the BMC has issued the residents notice under section 488 of the MMC Act, 1888, saying its personnel will enter the premises for demolition on June 17 or afterwards. The notice has been served after the residents concerned refused to hand over the keys of their flats to the BMC, despite being intimated about it.
“Until now we do not have a second thought in our minds. We are going to be here until the last moment,” a resident said, wishing anonymity.