10:27 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Mumbai: Campa Cola residents gear up for eviction amid protests

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It’s D-Day yet again, and all eyes are on the Campa Cola compound to see if history repeats itself. Twice last year, when civic officials tried to start the process of demolishing the illegal floors of the Worli compound, high drama ensued as residents formed human chains and blocked the gates. So will the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) third attempt on Friday be any different?

The Campa Cola compound residents protested on Friday in an attempt to block the BMC officials from entering the premises, as seen in visuals on television channels.

The BMC officials said they were requesting the residents to allow them inside. The eviction process is to be video recorded.

While residents are putting up a tough fight, civic officials said they intend to carry out the process peacefully.

Residents said they intend to stand their ground. None of them have vacated their flats yet. “We will protest and won’t allow the squad to enter the gates. We won’t let our homes be demolished so easily,” said Vidya Srinivas, the society’s core committee member.

“We are hoping the process will be completed peacefully and hence, only a few civic officials will go to the spot. We will try to convince them before starting the process of disconnecting their utility services. If the residents still put up resistance, we will film the proceedings and start the process of filing a contempt of court petition against them the same day,” said additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani on Thursday. The electricity, water and gas connections of the illegal homes will be disconnected on Friday.

Meanwhile, residents on Thursday tried to get one more extension from the BMC. Senior citizens from the society met municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte over the issue. Sources however, said, the commissioner told them there would be no more extensions unless the chief minister orders one.

Residents, however, plan to leave no stone unturned in trying to defer the demolition. Prayers will be held inside the compound on Friday morning. “A few senior citizens will stand before the demolition squad. This will help us gain the BMC’s sympathy. Also, they won’t be able to force their way through,” said a resident.

Like the last time, some politicians are expected to join residents in their protests on Friday.

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