Campa Cola: No water, power, but fight to save houses continues
At Campa Cola compound, some have moved out but continue to visit everyday, determined to make their presence felt in the building and in spite of the threat of a contempt petition.
The residents of the Campa Cola buildings in Worli, Mumbai may have allowed the municipality to disconnect utility services to the unauthorised flats, but they have not given up the fight to save the flats. While many residents have shifted to alternative accommodation in areas including Breach Candy, Altamount Road, Worli and adjoining places in South Mumbai on a temporary basis, they continue to visit their flats every day, determined to make their presence felt in the building.
Residents who have shifted out include high-profile personalities in the Save Campa Cola battle such as Ashish Jalan, MD of one of the leading PR agencies Concept Public Relations; Ashok Goel, MD of Essel Propack that's part of the Essel group and Nandini and Ajay Mehta, who manage a family business of import, supply and manufacturing of steel plates with clients such as Godrej and L&T.
While many residents have shifted out all their belongings from the illegal flats, they claim that they are still staying in the illegal flats with their families to continue their struggle. “Since we have nowhere to go, we will stay here though there is no electricity, water and gas. We feel that the chief minister will work out a solution to the issue. If the civic body files a contempt petition against us, we are ready to face the action,” said Rajesh Manot, a resident of Mid-town Apartments, one of the buildings in the complex.
Mohammed Ilyaz, another resident, also said that he would continue to fight. “Due to the continuous harassment, my son along with his three children have shifted to a nearby place as schools will start now. But, I am staying here with my wife and will not go till we get justice in the issue,” he added.
“We have shifted to Heera Panna building (at Haji Ali junction) now as we feel that we won’t get justice any time soon. But we will continue fighting for our home,” said another resident, who requested not to be named.
Civic officials who began the work of disconnecting electricity, water and gas connections of the illegal flats last Monday have now almost completed the task except cutting two water connections due to some issues.
As many as 96 flats in the Campa Cola compound were built illegally in the early 1980s. The Supreme Court has refused to grant any relief to the residents of these flats, who are opposing the demolition of the same.
More than 100 families have lived in the housing complex for the past 25 years. The seven high-rise buildings were constructed between 1981 and 1989 in the Campa Cola compound.
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