Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Campa Cola residents

Residents of 96 Campa Cola flats have a tough time. The owners had bought them legally. They had paid registration charges and stamp duty at the time of buying and property tax over the years. The builder made his profit. BMC officials did not demolish them when they came up. Thousands of illegal structures are regularised. These flats were not regularised. Some years back there was problem of illegal flats in Ulhasnagar. Maharashtra government passed a law to make them legal and residents were spared. That did not happen to Campa Cola residents.
The builder and BMC officials should have been punished for any illegal act. Punishing residents is travesty of justice. Innocent are punished. Guilty are free. Supreme Court which admits petitions of murderers who are sentenced to death by Supreme Court and whose mercy petitions are rejected by President, and shows mercy to murderers by commuting death sentences to life sentences did not show mercy to Campa Cola residents who were innocent. Lawyers who jump to the defence of murderers did not jump to the defence of Campa Cola residents.
Last time when BMC officials went to demolish Campa Cola flats there were many politicians expressing support to Campa Cola residents. This time apart from Shaina NC and Bala Nandgaonkar no famous politician was seen. Last time Lok Sabha elections were due. Milind Deora was present. He lost the election and seems not interested in Campa Cola. Legislative Assembly elections are four months away. Some politicians give the excuse that Supreme Court judgment has to be followed. That is duplicity and hypocrisy. Laws have been passed and Constitution has been amended many times to set aside Supreme Court judgments. If they want they can help Campa Cola residents. Supreme Court had struck down ban on dance bars. Politicians of all parties united and passed a law to set aside that judgment.
BMC officials who are otherwise lethargic showed zeal in attempts to demolish Campa Cola flats. They came even on a Sunday, 22/6/2014. Bala Nandgaonkar led a delegation of residents to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. A compromise was worked out. BMC officials will disconnect electricity and water supply of illegal flats. Prithviraj Chavan assured residents he would do everything within legal framework including regularise are within permissible FSI. If that is done, number of illegal flats comes down to 22.
Assurance is just words. If Prithviraj Chavan wanted he could have got an ordinance issued or law passed to help Campa Cola residents. He did nothing. In this country laws are amended with retrospective effect going back to 50 years and doing everything within legal framework is a sick joke. Why residents of 22 flats should suffer when residents of 74 flats get reprieve?
Residents have sent a mercy petition to President Pranab Mukherjee and he should decide in favour of Campa Cola residents.

Updated: June 24, 2014 — 7:45 am

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