Owners of 102 flats at the Campa Cola compound in Mumbai's Worli area defied Supreme Court's orders for the third time on Friday, by blocking the demolition action of Bruhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The BMC officials had to return from the compound as the residents did not budge from their blockade, barring the demolition procedure.
There are a total of 230 flats in the Campa Cola compound. The apex court had given orders to demolish the illegal floors built about five storeys.
Since 2005, the 102 flat owners have been fighting litigation with BMC, which wanted to raze floors built illegally above the permitted level. The Supreme Court's judgment ruled that tower construction beyond five floors is illegal there and ordered to destroy it.
The affected residents formed human chains and peacefully blocked the gates to bar the entry of the BMC officials who came to demolish the illegal flats. As the protesting residents did not allow BMC to enter the compound, the officials held talks with them peacefully and left the premises, after informing they will come back again.
The BMC officials stated that they would explain the situation they faced at the compound to the municipal commissioner and discuss the next course of action with him. Anand Waghralkar, deputy municipal commissioner, stressed that BMC would go back to implement the Supreme Court order.
BMC has stationed its demolition squad outside the compound along with police personnel, to act any time.
Even Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan has refused to interfere in the matter as it is Supreme Court's order to demolish the illegally built floors.
The BMC officials tried to convince the residents to allow them to carry out SC's order. As the first step to the order, BMC wanted to disconnect the supply of water, electricity and gas. But the protesting residents did not allow the officials inside the compound.
As per reports, BMC is contemplating to file a contempt of court petition against the 102 Campa Cola compound residents. The BMC officials have filmed the resisting act of the protestors at the compound gates and the same is going to be submitted to the Supreme Court as evidence.
Activists of BJP, RPI, MNS and NCP have given their support to the affected 102 flat owners. The political parties' activists have pleaded with the BMC officials to delay the demolition.
The protesting flat owners, including senior citizens, have been urging the BMC to give them another extension of time. The Supreme Court's stand is that the flat owners bought flats from the builders, despite knowing well that the flats have been built illegally.
The 102 flat residents in Campa Cola compound were supposed to vacate their apartments by 31 May 2014 as per the SC's last order.