Mumbai : Residents of Campa Cola Society in Mumbai are putting on a brave face even as the date of demolition draws closer. Even if they are evicted from home, they are determined to stay in the compound in tents. However, an air of despair pervades the society.
“We will not go anywhere!” declared Ashok Parikh, a senior citizen living in the society “This is our home and even if BMC demolishes it, we will erect tents in the compound and continue living here!”
Three out of 4 residents who were on indefinite hunger strike have continued with their fast. They vow to see this till the end but no one can ignore gradual shifting out of the families.
Residents are hoping against hope for some decision in their favour by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. The residents had a meeting with him on Friday during which the CM said that he is ‘exploring legal options’ which, according to many, doesn’t hint towards a decision in favour of the residents. Chavan is said to have told the residents to convey to him any ‘legal remedy’ that the residents might come across. Residents confirmed that they are in consultation with many lawyers and legal experts but refused to name them. On being asked whether they are planning any demonstration in the remaining days, Nandini Mehta, one of the residents, said that, “We do not want to take law in our hands”
The residents still maintain that they were not aware of the FSI violations committed by the builder at the time of buying the flats.
“We have nowhere to go,” said a distraught Rekha Parikh “We feel like committing suicide as we do not have any funds to buy a new house in Mumbai.” Residents are also concerned about the possible damage the demolition activity will cause to the five ‘legal floors.’
“It is logical to assume that these floors will also get damaged,” says Karan Sethia. “And some of the buildings in the compound have a common wall with the next one. How are we to say that remaining structure will remain completely safe after demolition?”
The society saw visits from high-profile politicians on Saturday as well. Vinod Tawde, leader of the opposition, in the State legislative council, visited the Campa Cola society to show his support. He called for an all-party meeting to decide on the issue. BJP MLA Gopal Shetty also showed his support for the residents.