Adjoining plot offers ray of hope to Campa Cola residents

AJubilant residents of the compound in Worli Prashant Nadkar

After the Supreme Court (SC) granted them a five-month breather, occupants of the 35 unauthorised floors in the seven buildings at Campa Cola Compound in Worli are exploring options to get their flats regularised.

An adjoining plot of Akruti Builders measuring almost 5,000 square metres is offering them a ray of hope.

Head of Campa Cola Residents Association Rahul Malhotra said, "We are taking to Akruti Builders to acquire a part of the plot. FSI available to that plot can be used to regularise the unauthorised floors in the compound."

Vimal Shah of Akruti Builders refused comment.

A senior BMC official said, "Amalgamation of plots is possible if BMC approves it. Such a proposal would need a single property card by the collector to use the FSI available to the adjoining plot."

Another option the residents are exploring is redevelopment.

"We could demolish all buildings and construct the required number of flats as per available and permissible FSI," said Malhotra.

Following a Supreme Court verdict in February, BMC issued a 48-hour demolition notice to residents of the 35 unauthorised floors. The SC order said, "Although members of the housing societies knew the construction was in violation of the sanctioned plan, a large number occupied the illegal buildings."

While the approved plans allowed ground-plus-five structures, developers added several more to each building. In 2002, BMC found that of the 2.11 lakh sq feet built-up area, only 1.86 sq feet was permissible and issued notices to 19 flats. But owners of these flats got the notices withdrawn.

In 2005, BMC concluded that all flats above the fifth floor in every building in the compound were unauthorised and again issued demolition notices.

"Most of the FSI (about 67,000 sq feet) is unauthorised but approvable and regularisable. We will try our best to approach BMC to regularise these floors. We are also talking to lawyers to find a solution," said Malhotra.

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