As they run from pillar to post to stop the demolition of the 143 apartments in central Mumbai, the residents of the Campa Cola compound in Worli in central Mumbai will be banking on a special leave petition they have filed before the Supreme Court to save them.
The residents are hoping that the Supreme Court will be enough to hold back the city's civic body from going ahead with the demolition, which is scheduled to begin today, the Indian Express reported.
However, the civic body has said that unless the court explicitly directs them not to go ahead with the demolition it will continue as planned and has even readied the people and equipment to go ahead with the demolition that is expected to take six months.
"We have to receive a clear official order from the Supreme Court else we will go on with the demolitions. Merely filing an SLP in the SC will not do," Additional Municipal Commissioner (Island City) Mohan Adtani was quoted as saying in the report.
The builder of the building has however pleaded innocence in the case and said that he had only followed existing norms at the time of building the apartments that have now been deemed illegal.
"I had applied for construction of three buildings. Though one of them was not approved, FSI for that building was used up for the other two buildings, which is permissible and can be regularised later. It is a breach but legally approvable," BK Gupta, one of the builders involved in the contstruction was quoted as saying in a report.
However, residents of the houses earmarked for demolition have already begun to throw in the towel and while some have claimed they will not move, others have already packed their belongings as they prepare to move.
"Some have moved their belongings to lower floors and to other places where they could manage to get space. But where are they going to get so much space to keep all their belongings?" Umesh Sinha, one of the residents told Mumbai Mirror.
An unnamed building manager was also quoted as saying that many of the residents have taken houses on rent nearby and left only furniture in their houses. Many of the residents are still on a hunger strike protesting the demolition of the apartments.
The residents also met with a builder to obtain additional Floor Space Index for their buildings, but the price quoted has put many of them off.
The unprecedented Supreme Court order permits the BMC to demolish all structures above the fifth floor of seven buildings in Worli’s Campa Cola Compound will render 200 families homeless.
The structures include 140 residential flats, many of the occupants of which are senior citizens and residents for more than 25 years.
The illegal floors of the buildings Midtown, Esha Ekta Apartments, Shubh Apartments, Patel Apartments (two buildings), B Y Apartments and Orchid will be demolished.
While the builders were granted permission for ground-plus-five floors, Midtown went up to 20 floors, Orchid to 17, Esha Ekta to eight, Shubh to seven and BY and Patel to six floors each.