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Maharashtra, BMC left us in the lurch

Tuesday, 6 May 2014 - 8:25am IST | Agency: dna

Undeterred by the Supreme Court's order, residents of Campa Cola society have decided to intensify their protests before May 31. They were visibly distressed, but appeared motivated enough to fight tooth and nail to save their homes.

"We are waiting for a few members to come back from Delhi, before we decide our exact plan of action," said Nandini Mehta, a resident of Midtown building.

In a major setback to hundreds of residents of the society, the apex court on Monday refused to grant them further extension to vacate their houses. There are total 106 families living in Campa Cola society housed in 140 flats.

For Vidya Srinivas, it's a failure on the part of the Congress government and the civic body. "Despite Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan promising us full cooperation, we have been left in the lurch," said Srinivas, who too resides on one of the illegal floors at Midtown.

The residents are upset that the BMC has rejected every plan submitted to it by the residents. Sunanda Verma told dna that the occupants had also suggested the option of demolishing the flats themselves, but that too was not accepted.

"Of the 140 flats, only 18 to 20 flats are illegally constructed. We had suggested the BMC to demolish those flats, while the society will collectively arrange for the compensation," she said.

In November last year, the Supreme Court had ordered the civic body to stay the demolition of the 35 illegal floors spread across seven buildings in the society till May 31, 2014.

Another resident of the society said, "Instead of sitting with us and reaching a common solution on the issue, civic officials kept on delaying the matter by asking for extra documents and time. This clearly indicates their malice intentions."

In November last year, the court had taken suo - moto cognizance of the Campa Cola issue. It had ordered the civic body to stay the demolition of the 35 illegal floors across seven buildings in the society, till May 31, 2014.

"The matter was also discussed in the Nagpur assembly, but no action was taken after that," added Mehta.

A senior citizen, who has been living in the society for the last 20 years, said, "God forbid, if the demolition comes through, we will have no option but to stay on the roads. A flat in the city cost crores and at this age, I'm not in a position to afford one."

Pinning hopes on Modi
An official statement issued on Monday by the Campa Cola residents said they are pinning their hopes on BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. "The residents have turned their prayers to Mr Modi even as the Supreme Court refused to extend the May 31 deadline to demolish the disputed structures. The BMC has refused to help the Campa Cola compound residents and had said it point blank that they are not interested in the solution," the note read.

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