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Mumbai: BMC officials return from Campa Cola Society as residents block their entry

Jun 20, 2014 01:58 PM IST India India

Mumbai: Prevented by the residents of Campa Cola Society from entering the compound, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials returned without beginning the eviction process. The officials said that they will report to their senior officers.

"We will brief the senior officers and BMC commissioner on the ground situation and a decision will be taken accordingly," said a BMC official.

The BMC officials now say that they will try to go back to the compound. "We will try again go back to the compound. We will try to convince the residents. The exercise will continue till Monday," the BMC said.

17 days after the Supreme Court rejected a petition by the residents against its earlier order asking them to vacate the flats, officials of the Municipal Corporation reached the complex along with the police to cut power, water and piped gas supply to the illegal flats. However, they were prevented by slogan-shouting residents of the Campa Cola Housing Society in upscale Worli, who closed the iron gates and placed bamboo poles to prevent them from entering.

"After issuing notices to the residents of Campa Cola under Section 488 of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) Act, the deadline for the residents to vacate their flats has ended today. We have only come to cut off the water, electric and gas supply of the residents," an official present at the site said.

A number of RPI workers carrying party flags were present outside the gates and BJP leader Shaina N C was seen engaged in animated discussions with the municipal authorities and residents, who said they would continue their peaceful protest and oppose any move to evict them.

A 'havan' was also performed within the compound seeking divine intervention to save the illegal flats from demolition where occupants have been living for close to three decades. "Inside the gate of our campus, the women have formed the first line of defence and will prevent any official from entering the premises. We have no other place to go in the monsoon season, hence we will fight till our last breath," Ankit Garg, a resident, said.

The BMC officials had gone to the Campa Cola society to cut power, water and gas supply to the illegal flats as the deadline for the residents to vacate their homes ended on Friday. The BMC will start demolishing structures in the coming days. Two JCB machines have been positioned outside the gate. The BMC will also be video recording the entire eviction process to provide proof to the Supreme court.

The BJP and the NCP have hit out at the Congress government for not rehabilitating the residents. Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan has said that the government is simply following the Supreme Court orders.