Mumbai civic body starts cutting links to illegal Campa Cola flats

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 23.06.14

Mumbai, Jun 23 (PTI): The residents of the Campa Cola housing complex opened the gates of their compound on Monday, ending a three-day standoff and letting in civic officials to disconnect water, gas and electricity supply to 96 illegal flats in the complex.

“The residents finally cooperated with us today. Our teams have started work of cutting off the supply of electricity, water and piped gas of the residents and have formed 12 teams for the process,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Anand Waghralkar told PTI.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), which started work at 11am, will continue with it till sunset, he said.

“We have once again assured residents that we have only come to cut off the essential supplies peacefully as per the orders of the Supreme Court and will do nothing more than this,” the MCGM official said.

After backing out from their stand of preventing the entry of MCGM officials in the compound, the residents, following the intervention of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, had apologised to the civic body on Sunday for the inconvenience caused to them.

The residents of the complex, located in the plush Worli area of south Mumbai, also decided to let the MCGM officials cut the water and power supply to illegal flats.

They had also petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee to stay the demolition of the illegal flats on ”humanitarian grounds.”

The residents said if the illegal flats were demolished, senior citizens living there would be rendered homeless. They also stated a number of ways in which the illegal flats can be regularised by the state government.

On June 3, the Supreme Court had dismissed the plea of the residents of the illegal flats against an earlier order asking them to vacate their apartments by May 31.

Following the SC order, the civic body had issued notices to the owners of the illegal units to hand over the keys to their flats so that demolition could be carried out. However, none of the owners has done so.

The civic body’s deadline for vacating the flats expired on June 20 and, as part of their plan to force the occupants to hand over the apartments, civic authorities decided to cut off essential services like water and power supply to them.