Mumbai: Supreme Court grants four weeks to Campa Cola compound residents to vacate flats

Mumbai: Supreme Court grants four weeks to Campa Cola compound residents to vacate flats

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The Campa Cola compound in Mumbai

Mumbai:  Many residents of Campa Cola compound in Mumbai's Worli, whose illegal flats were to be pulled down by Civic Authorities on Thursday, are angry and frustrated even after the Supreme Court extended the deadline for demolishing the 140 flats in the housing society.

Instead of this week, Mumbai's civic body will pull down 35 illegal floors next month.

Pradeep Kastiya has lived in the society that has seven buildings for over 25 years.

But like residents of 35 illegal floors, he does not have an Occupation Certificate. Their eight year struggle to regularise their flats has yielded nothing.

Speaking to NDTV after the verdict he said the Supreme Court's extension of the deadline of demolition only prolongs the inevitable slightly. "I am not happy with the verdict at all. It's only created confusion. And we are frustrated," he said.

The Supreme Court today ruled that residents of illegal flats could continue to live there until November 11. Vidya Srinivas, a teacher who lives on the 19th floor of Midtown building in the complex, says she is grateful but was hoping for more. "We were hoping the Supreme Court would let us stay on, but I guess its curtains now."

The extra month she says will help her in making more permanent arrangements.

What's worrying many people is the prospect of buying a home in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country.

Fearing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) hammer, many residents whose flats were to be demolished have already left. Those who remain are frantically packing up.

Among them the Mehta's who have two flats on the 10th floor of Midtown. Helping the family pack is Nisha Damani. The large flat belongs to her sister Nandini Mehta. The house and its contents are half packed in boxes, with cartons and packing material piled up outside the entrance of the flat.

Tears welling up she says, "Hard. It's so hard and tough for the family. I hope the authorities can see the human side of this."

But there are powerful and influential people like city MP Milind Deora and Minister of State for Housing Sachin Ahir who say they are trying their best that the 140 families don't lose their homes. Speaking to reporters Mr Ahir said, "Now that the apex court had extended the deadline we will examine what the state's Law and Judiciary department has to say about this and how these people can be helped".

Its statements like these, few residents say, that are leading them to hope for a miracle that will not part them from their homes.

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