Mumbai : The Campa Cola society was a centre of hectic activities on Monday as it was the last day given by the Supreme Court to vacate the flats. The demolition drive is due to start at 11 am on Tuesday.
All was relatively calm until 3.30 pm when some government officials entered the premises and pasted two notices, one from BEST (Brihanmumbai Elctrical Supply and Transport ) and the other from MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai). The first notice clearly stated that electric supply of the flats deemed illegal will be cut on Tuesday, while the notice by MCGM stated that the demolition of the ‘unauthorised work’ in the premises will start on Tuesday.
This definitely had a negative effect on the already strained morale of the Campa-Cola residents. The tension in the air was increasingly palpable and Mumbai BJP Chief Ashish Shelar, who was there, found himself at the receiving end of the residents’ ire.
“What have you done so far?” snarled Kamal Parikh, who is on a hunger strike since last week. “All the politicians just come to visit us but there is no action on the ground!” she complained.
“We do not want your pity. As voters who have voted you to power, we want justice!” a weeping Parikh added.
The situation took an emotional turn as many women present on the scene broke down and began shouting at hapless Shelar. Men were no exception.
The residents’ anger soon got directed towards the journalists who were covering the developments in the society. News channel cameramen were told to stop shooting.
“All of you do not show our true emotions,” an agitated Divya Malhotra, a resident, said. “Everything we say is edited one way or the other,” she added.
The situation got tense as a few of the residents got up and started urging other society members to ‘boycott the media’ and ‘block the road’. The situation was prevented from worsening by other society members who calmed the angry ones down.
Emotions were high as residents vowed to protest on Tuesday when the BMC demolition crew is due to arrive.
Amidst all this, there was a rare sight of almost all major parties in the city coming together on a single platform when Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai and spokesperson Rahul Narvekar addressed the media along with BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha and Congress MLA Amin Patel.
Narvekar was especially cheered by the residents when he said that if Chief Minister did not take action, the Shiv Sena would oppose the demolition ‘in its own way.’