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“Home-sour-Home” – My views on demolition of Campa Cola Society!

Where we love is home-home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

– Sir Oliver Wendell Holmes

The above quote sounds very rational and sure it is. I would love adding up one of my thoughts about home that initially what you build is a house but with a blend of years of memories and a bucket of emotions, what it becomes is a home.

Now plunging out of the merry land of thoughts, let me present you with a horrifying realistic question, “What would you do if you were asked to vacate your home permanently by the affiliating body itself?” Well, I certainly don’t know your answers but I’m very keen to put up my views on one such real incident and the concerns pertaining to that event in the following paragraphs.

Supporting the context of my question and the term “home”, I’d like to bring up the case of  proposed demolition of Campa-Cola Society, Mumbai which has although, created a buzz among the social media only in the recent times but has been actually a path of agony, penitence and struggle for the residents of this society since around 12 years.

Being on the verge of demolition, the residents can’t do much but register their despaired remarks to the news reporters. “Please tell them to come along with revolvers when they arrive here to seal this building”, the infuriated yet tears-filled words of Mrs. Mehta, one of the residents of Campa Cola society. “Mera Bharat mahaan nahi, mera Bharat Beimaan”, words of Mrs. Jain, another tormented resident of the society.

The point behind mentioning these remarks was just to highlight the gravity of the case and I’d prefer not going further deep into the news factor of this case but rather be paying emphasis on the alarming social concerns aroused by this case and summarizing that in what way even this case is a product of one of the most intimidating problems of India-Corruption. The complete timeline of the discussed case can be viewed via the link given below:

The Mumbai Campa Cola Society Case

It’s very sure that no one will have any issues with the builders and the authorities getting convicted but think more profoundly about the actions planned to be taken on the residing families. They’re very candidly instructed to vacate their respective flats within a teensy bit of time even when they themselves are very much the victims rather than being culprits.

Here’s the point of paramount importance, why’s the most relentless punishment given to the residents when most of them weren’t even aware of the clearance issues of the society? Yes, back in 1984, the year in which booking of the illegal flats of Campa Cola society got started, most of the buyers were presented with forged documents by the builders assuring the ignorant buyers about the legality of the actually illegal flats. And even more shockingly, BMC granted the clearance to the construction of illegal flats after settling cards with the builders in form of incurring an amount of fine from them.

Due to the recent intervention of Supreme Court, it is the same BMC that is suddenly eager to execute the process of demolition of the illegal flats. The whole course of action raises many critical questions such as why the regularization and home taxes were incurred from the residents by BMC and why was the construction allowed to continue in the very first place and wasn’t it the liability of BMC and other affiliating authorities to inform buyers about the legal issues of the flats? Well, for me it’s the then BMC officials and the builders who must be punished in place of the residents.

It is very vital to mention that some of the buyers were aware of the clearance issues when they had booked the flats and the others didn’t bother going through the documents in an intricate way. So, what the latter lot of buyers did was a display of irresponsibility and definitely not anything of the merit of a crime but compelling them to vacate those flats that they had acquired after spending every single penny earned by them during the course of their life and had lived in for 25 years is like punishing a really serious crime.

Finally, now it’s time for the solutions part which I think can be better substitutes of what’s actually happening out there in Mumbai. Before imparting resolving ideas, it’s important to understand the current dilemma of the government that it can’t simply cut loose all the actions bound to be performed on the residents because Campa Cola isn’t the only one of its kind in Mumbai but around 55,000 others! So, it’s quite implausible to dismantle all the 55,000 illegal settlements of the city.

According to me, the government should request the Supreme Court to reassess its mandate and at most collect a common penalty from the unaware inhaWHybitants of these 55,000 settlements and Campa Cola society, also let them continue dwelling. Secondly, the BMC officials who gave approvals, the builders of all these illegal settlements and the buyers who knew about the situation must be put on trial because what they did was nothing but an allotrope of corruption. What the state’s judiciary body can do is formulate more strict and definite laws for the clearances of construction projects to prohibit the foundation of any such new illegal flats.

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