Demolition in Mumbai's Campa Cola society to cost Rs 2.3 crore

The Birhanmumbai Muncipal Council has finalised the contract for demolishing the 35 illegal floors across seven buildings in the controversial Campa Cola society in Worli and will table in the tenders for the demolition before the standing committee for approval  on Wednesday.

According to a report in the Times of India, the BMC is likely to award the contract to Landmark Corporation Pvt Ltd, in a joint venture with Keman Enterprises, which has estimated the demolition cost at Rs 2.30 crore — 12.51% above the BMC's estimated cost of Rs 1.88 crore.

The other tender is from Edificie Engineering but its estimated demolition cost was quoted at Rs 2.89 crore, which is 54 percent above BMC's estimate. (Read the full report here).

The demolition  work is expected to continue till March 2014. The contractor has to demolish 96 flats in the five-month period starting November 11.

"It is unfortunate that over 1,000 people will be rendered homeless,” said Paras Gundecha, president of MCHI CREDAI.

Residents of Campa Cola Society.

Landmark has demolished 4-5 buildings in the past but only because they were undergoing redevelopment; none of them were illegal.

“I feel the pain of the residents, I strongly feel for them. The issue should be looked at from a human angle, instead from the point of view of rules and regulations. If illegal slums can be regularised, why can’t these floors? The law should be the same for all, without discrimination,” Vipin S Jain, managing director of Landmark Corporation, was quoted as saying by the Mid Day.

In February, the Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of the illegal floors of buildings in the Campa Cola compound.

These buildings included Midtown, Esha Ekta Apartments, Shubh Apartments, Patel Apartments, B Y Apartments and Orchid.

While the builders were given permission to construct only ground-plus-five floors, Midtown ended up having 20 floors, Orchid 17, Esha Ekta and Shubh eight, BY seven, and two wings of Patel six floors each.

The fact that the developer had not obtained the required permissions came to light only in 2005, after the occupants had been living at the compound for two decades. Now the residents face being dishoused within a couple of days, and to thwart that, have been running from pillar to post.

Residents approached the Bombay High Court, seeking a stay but the plea was rejected. This forced them to move the SC, which, on May 2, gave them a five-month breather to vacate. Recently, it gave them another breather for a month, which ends on November 11.

After the Supreme Court extended the demolition date from October 3 to November 11, hopeful residents  used the extra month to approach politicians from the Congress, BJP and Shiv Sena.

On a request from residents, Shiv Sena youth wing leader Aaditya Thackeray used  Twitter to appeal to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to use discretionary powers to find a solution. Meanwhile, Milind Deora is expected to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi to find an amicable solution to the issue without disrespecting the apex court's orders, reported the DNA today.

But  despite all efforts to regularise their houses , nearly one third of the 140 families have vacated their flats.

And according to another report in Times of India, the lone beneficiary of the demolition will be the unscrupulous builders or the new builder, who can approach the civic body with fresh building plans for the extra floor space index (FSI) available in the Campa Cola Compound.

“After demolishing 35 illegal flats across seven buildings in the society, the developer can construct on 6,200sqm of FSI and sell new flats. The plot measuring a total of 18,049 sq m is not sub-divided and still shows as a single plan under the BMC,” the reports says.