The Supreme Court on Thursday granted relief to the residents of Campa Cola compound in the upmarket Worli area here, by ordering a stay on the demolition of buildings for five months.
The builders of the seven buildings, which were constructed between 1981 to1989, were permitted to raise only five floors. However, the builder flouted the norms and built two towers of 17 and 20 floors each and three buildings of six floors each and two of seven floors. The Supreme Court in its order in February 2012, had ordered to demolish 35 illegal floors, which could have rendered 140 families homeless.
On Thursday morning, before the Supreme Court order, the entire compound had turned in to a police camp. The residents had locked the society gates, preventing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) workers from entering inside. While some residents had started shifting their goods to another place, many had decided to remain inside the building. The BMC workers, cut the building’s electricity and gas supply. However, following the Court’s order, they will have to rearrange the supplies.
“The five month period will give us adequate time to save our houses. We will continue to work as hard and ensure that we manage to come up with a solution,” said Ravindra Shah, a resident of the compound.
The residents had first moved to the Bombay High Court after they received the notice from the BMC. However, the High Court had refused to interfere with the apex court’s order. The residents had then again approached the Supreme Court, asking for a stay on the demolition notice.
The Court in its order on Thursday made it clear that no further time, than five months, will be given to the society to evict the illegal flats. It also said the flat owners will not file any petition in the high court or lower courts against the order of vacating their flats.
“We will submit our undertaking in response to the Supreme Court’s decision within four weeks. After consulting with our lawyers, we will decide our future course of action,” said Rohit Malhotra, a resident.