The Mumbai municipality on Monday starting serving eviction notices on residents occupying illegal flats at the Campa Cola compound. They have been told to hand over the keys to their flats between May 29 and June 2.
The upscale residential complex in south Mumbai was built in the 1980s. According to the municipality, the builders had obtained permission for constructing only five floors. However, 35 floors were added without permission, making 140 flats illegal. The municipality served demolition notices in 2005 which the residents challenged in court. The matter reached the Supreme Court, which ordered that the illegal flats be vacated by November 11. The Supreme Court stayed the demolition the day after and gave them time till May 31 to find solutions.
“There is absolutely no way that these flats can be regularised. They have to be demolished,” said an official from the municipal body.
The local police station has also served notices asking the residents to avoid any resistance or face action.
Residents, meanwhile, are undecided on the next move. Last week, they petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee. Around 50 people also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his website. “One person from almost every family here has urged him to help us from being rendered homeless,” said Punit Shah, a resident.
Residents are also considering putting up tents. “Nobody can stop us from camping in the complex. My husband and I are still trying to figure what to do and how best to tackle the situation,” said Nandini Mehta, resident of one of the illegal flats.