State seeks legal opinion on Campa Cola compound

Mumbai

As the deadline for demolition of illegal floors of Campa Cola compound buildings nears, the Prithviraj Chavan-led state government has decided to make a last-ditch 'rescue' effort for its residents.

On Saturday, a day after residents urged Chavan to defer the demolition plan and consider ways of regularising the illegal homes, the state Urban Development (UD) Department, which is led by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, sought a legal opinion from Advocate General Darius Khambatta in this regard.

Senior state officials told The Sunday Express that the government has sought an opinion on whether it can hear the residents' plea against an earlier ruling of the BMC, which had rejected their application for regularisation of the illegal homes.

While around 102 homes are to be demolished as per an order issued by the Supreme Court on February 27, the residents had earlier approached the BMC claiming that about 80 homes occupying a built-up space of about 6,142 sq m fell within the FSI limits and could be regularised as per the existing law.

On September 11, the SC issued orders asking residents to approach the 'concerned authorities' to examine if the regularisation was permissible. The civic body, which granted the residents a hearing, dismissed their application the same month citing the February 27 SC order, which restricted interference of local bodies with regard to the demolition order.

The residents later approached the government challenging the BMC's move on October 11. While Khambatta had initially said the government could not interfere with the SC order, the government has decided to seek his opinion again on whether it could hear the residents' plea.

With the demolition exercise expected to commence from November 12, a senior state official said the legal opinion should be given to the government before Monday.

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