140 illegal flats worth Rs 300cr to be razed in Worli

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Mumbai: In one of the biggest demolition undertakings in the city, the BMC is set to raze 35 illegal floors housing 140 flats across seven buildings in Worli within three months. The move will reduce to dust real estate worth about Rs 300 crore and leave in the lurch over 140 families living in the houses for over 25 years.

The SC, in a landmark judgment on February 27, had ruled that all floors above the fifth in seven buildings at the upscale Campa Cola compound will have to be razed. It also said the residents cannot ask for the floors above the legal five as marked in the original plan to be regularized. The residents filed a review petition on April 1.

Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte has appointed a special monitoring committee to oversee the demolition. The estimated budget is Rs 1.5 crore, which the BMC plans to recover from the developer and the societies later.

A team comprising workers from G (south) ward (labourers and JCB machines) and the building proposal department will be deployed for the demolition. The civic body has appointed structural consultant Shashank Mehendale to look into the logistics of the demolition and ensure the residents of the legal floors are not inconvenienced.

Under the chairmanship of additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani, the six members of the monitoring panel are Milind Sawant, deputy municipal commissioner (improvements), Kishore Kshirsagar, DMC (Zone 11), R S Kukunoor, chief engineer (development plan), S Bhattacharya chief engineer (planning and design), Uday H Kedar, law officer, C Chore, assistant commissioner (estates).

“We will invite tenders for a demolition contractor. If it was a vacant building, it could have been demolished easily. But it’s a challenge for the BMC to demolish the illegal floors because people are living in the legal floors below. A comprehensive plan will be ready in a few days,” said Adtani.

The BMC had leased the plot to the manufacturers of Campa Cola in 1955 and later, the firm sought permission to develop a large part of it. Then started a saga of illegalities, including construction of additional floors without approval, construction beyond the permissible FSI and occupying the building without an occupation certificate (see box).

Adtani said a new technique will be used for the demolition but refused details. “We have worked out a systematic plan and it will be done in such a way that residents living on the lowermost floors will not be inconvenienced with debris from demolition. The demolition work will be carried out in three months,” he said.

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