Campa Cola: Complaint filed against defiant residents

Campa Cola: Complaint filed against defiant residents

Holding their ground, defiant Campa Cola residents resisted the entry of Mumbai civic officials into the housing complex for the second day on Saturday, even as authorities filed a police complaint against them for preventing government officials from carrying out duties.

Repeating Friday’s futile exercise, officials from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), even with a heavy security presence, failed in their attempts to enter the colony and cut off the power, gas and water supply to the illegal flats in the plush Worli area of the city.

Women and girls with folded hands pleaded with MCGM officials from behind grilled gates, locked and secured with bamboo poles, to understand the “humanitarian crisis” and turn away. A crowd of residents milled around the compound where a havan was performed amid hymn chanting and the wafting scent of burning joss sticks.

The civic authorities, armed with a Supreme Court order which ruled that 96 illegally-constructed flats in the complex should be demolished, repeatedly pleaded with the residents, but in vain. The Supreme Court had on June 3 dismissed the plea of the residents in illegal flats against an earlier order asking them to vacate the premises by May 31.

Following the apex court order, the MCGM had issued notices to the owners of the illegal units to hand over the keys so that demolition could be carried out, but no one did.

The MCGM deadline for vacating the flats expired on Friday and, as part of their plan to urge occupants to vacate, the civic authorities decided that they would cut off essential supplies like water and power.

“We have been requesting the residents to let us perform our duty but they are unrelenting. We are leaving for the day but will come back on Sunday and continue our efforts to convince them to let us do our job,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Anand Waghralkar said.

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