The residents of the Campa Cola Compound buildings who are facing demolition of their flats, were visited on Wednesday by Milind Deora and Sachin Ahir, their representatives in Parliament and the state legislature respectively, and extended their support to the troubled families.
The two leaders told journalists after their meeting with the residents that the matter was before Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, and various legal options were being examined. The ministers also said they would seek to build political support to help save these houses.
“If structures could be retained in Ulhasnagar, why not here,” asked Sachin Ahir, who is minister of state for housing. He was alluding to the ordinance issued by the state government seven years ago regularising 1.6 lakh illegal constructions in neighbouring Ulhasnagar.
Deora said he had been in constant touch with the residents over the past six months after the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of 35 illegal floors in seven buildings.
“I express my solidarity with the residents. I appreciate that they have led this campaign without taking the law into their own hands,” said Deora, who is also Union minister of state for communications, IT and shipping.
Asked if any legal step to ward off demolition of the illegal floors could set a wrong precedent, the leaders said that this was an “unusual case”. “We will see that it doesn’t set a trend,” Ahir said.
On Tuesday, members of the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Brihanmumbai raised the issue at a meeting of the civic body and asked the chief minister intervene to regularise the floors within the permissible floor space index (FSI).
The demolition has been hanging since April, after residents managed to secure repeated extensions from the apex court, allowing them time to find alternative accommodation. They are required to vacate by November 11, even as a review petition is pending before the Supreme Court.