After a day-long drama at Campa Cola Compound, residents gave in on Sunday. They said they were ready to comply with the Supreme Court order.
Residents who had been resisting the civic officials for the third day in a row, not only relented but apologised to the municipality. The decision came after a delegation of residents led by MNS MLA Bala Nandgaonkar met with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. “The Chief Minister has assured us that he would extend support and help us favourably for future plans of redevelopment. We will soon vacate our homes,” said a resident speaking to the media.
In a last ditch attempt to save their homes, the Campa Cola residents appealed to Pranab Mukherjee to intervene on “humanitarian grounds”.
The municipality is likely to initiate proceedings on Monday. The first phase of demolition would involve disconnecting electricity, gas and water supply to the 95 illegal flats of the compound. “The residents finally relented. We had been trying to convince them for three days. Now, we will start disconnecting supply on Monday,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner Anand Waghralkar.
Sunday began with Campa Cola residents, in a last ditch attempt to save their homes, appealing to President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday. In their “mercy petition”, residents asked Mr. Mukherjee to intervene on “humanitarian grounds”.
The day saw its share of face-off and serious moments with two women fainting and being rushed to hospital.
The residents have missed several deadlines. In November last year when the demolition was about to begin, the Supreme Court ordered a stay and gave them time till May 31. Residents went to court again but this time, the Apex Body dismissed their plea.
On Friday, 17 days after the Supreme Court rejected a petition by the residents against its earlier order asking them to vacate the flats. Officials of the municipal corporation reached the complex along with the police to cut power, water and piped gas supply to the illegal flats. However, each of their attempts to enter the compound was met with resistance from residents who blockaded the entrance. Officials maintained that they would not use force against the residents.