For the residents of Campa Cola compound the question is will they lose their flats today or tomorrow. Does not really matter either way.

The whole system is so scary especially in a city like Mumbai where most people’s net worth is in their primary residence. Say your net worth is Rs. 3 crores out of which Rs. 2.2 crores is the current value of your flat…the situation is really scary.

Now take the cases which people like Medha Patkar fight for. They are the tribals who are sometimes not even TOLD that their village will be inundated with water. Again innocent people who have no clue why a dam is getting built, just get thrown out.

For most of us it is just a news item. Now when we see Campa Cola compound, we are scared because the residents – the Guptas, Mehtas, Kulkarnis – are ONE OF US!

No clue how to handle this – it is too painful.

However please go and check whether your own societies paper work is completed. That is the LEAST that you can do.

Why did the politician, bureaucrat, builder not come into the picture?

Well there is no answer. The great election has also not helped?

Too many of the answers by the UPA government sound like Queen Mary Antoinette’s ‘Eat cake if you cannot afford bread’

We need our guillotine…….hey UPA u need to go, NOW….

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  1. IMHO, knowing what I know of the situation:
    1. The builder is to be held accountable, BMC cannot take unilateral action against only the residents. If still around, the builder should be party to the situation, he should provide alternate accomodation to each ‘illegal’ resident proportionate to the area of his/her flat
    2. If the builder is not to be found or cannot provide alternate accomodation, BMC should either:
    a. provide alternate accomodation and resettle all residents before demolishing the ‘illegal’ floors OR
    b. regularize the structure, provide proper water and sewage connections
    This is going beyond all belief! All authorities, BMC, SC, CM’s office are treating these folks worse than even illegal squatters, forget law-abiding citizens. Andher Nagari indeed.

  2. I follow your blog for great financial advice.

    Most of your political views I disagree. But here I am with you. The UPA has to go.

    But just wondering, building regulations are by the BMC. And for the last almost 20 years it is the Sena/BJP here. Campa cola came about about because of the BMC. The High Court directed the BMC to look into the matter and the BMC said demolish the building!

    So kick the UPA out and then get whom the NDA. And the Sena will be the DMK of the NDA!


  3. Situation is scary because first they allowed to build the illegal property. Then they sanctioned and disbursed loans after scrutinizing (?) validity of the project. And now, they are asking to demolish this project.

    Who is the sufferer?

    We, the Guptas, Mehtas, Kulkarnis, etc.

    Is it not the responsibility of funding agency (banks) not to sanction loans if something is fishy? If not, in what sense should they ask for repayment of loans if residents had to vacate?

    Really scary!!!

    Supreme court needs to give it a thought.

  4. well,people who want regulators and babus involved in real estate will end up with such situations. the only fact ‘illegal’ about these buildings is that the BMC did not give permission.
    has anyone wondered IF the BMC erred in not giving permission?
    the FSI rules from 1984 or whenever these flats were first made are irrelevant today. there is no airplane safety issue in worli either -where the tallest towers in india are construction.

    when babus are part of the game,everyone is a victim.
    i dont agree that these people are squatters. they did not occupy already occupied land. they broke the regulations,but it is a mere technicality. i dont see the property theft at all.

  5. let us not call these owners innocent buyers. They knew they were buying without BMC water connection, nothing was regularised. I think the building should be razed to the ground. Simple.

    However, the builder has vanished, the baboos have disappeared,….so makes sense to levy a penalty of say Rs. 8000 per sq ft and legalise it. Use the money for SRA.

  6. Repeating my comment of an earlier post:

    I want to know the name of the builder. May be that builder is still around under the same name or another. We need to know the name of that builder so that we can punish him by market-methods (besmirching his current company reputation). It is mind boggling that not a single report/blog/journalist have named the builder.

  7. I agree that a tribal being moved forcibly had not rankled me that much as this campa-cola-colony-incident has done. I am not very proud of this attitude but nor am I ashamed that much. It is human tendency to identify the pain of ‘similar set’. I have realized that I must be more sympathetic about people outside my set and I will try to make amends. However, I won’t indulge in self-denigration.

    I believe that the building should be razed and not ‘regularized’ (regularization is euphemism for bribery and adjustment). However somebody must be penalized to pay the victims. Ideally the builder (if still around) should be liquidated and the proceeds be used to provide for similar flats for all the unfortunate residents.

    I am sure most of the residents did not KNOW of the irregularity when they bought the flats. We cannot blame the residents for ignorance because we all know that there is no transparent record keeping mechanism.

    My blood really boils whenever I think about this campa-cola incident. We are paying the price of our collective corruption which we indulged in for generations.

  8. Subra,

    I am surprised that you consider a house as a component of net-worth. Your primary residence should never be considered as a component of net worth just like you should not consider the rice-kept-in-your-kitchen and clothes-in-your-wardrobe as components of your net worth.

    A house can only be considered for net-worth if it is your second house.

  9. These home owners are innocent. They knew these apartments are illegal. since they were getting these at cheap prices thats why they bought it. Now they want make it legal so they can reap the benefits at cheap price. Add a penalty at current market price and make it legal plain and simple

  10. I differ on the political view.
    The possibility with NDA is not good either. One man may not be able to change the culture here. Especially under the influence of regional parties, only way is to compromise on many issues(even if it against all norms). This man also will do same. So end result is same(with compounding effect)

  11. Have the residents filed a case of cheating against the builder? I guess if they are saying it is not their fault and someone (builder/society etc.) have cheated them, they are well within their rights to do so & certainly have the means.

  12. People are solely to be blamed….& BMC partially

    1. Would you buy a flat in Dawoods project? Yousuf Patel was a smuggler & closely linked to underworld. You have to be extra careful when investing in projects of these people.

    2. why dint the people chk the CC before buying. CC clearly states the scale of approved project

    3. why dint the residents ask for copies of the plan approval…BMC never approved plans. all this has to be done befor buying property

    4. BMC right from the first time it found out the illegal construction has been taking action…they issues stop work order way back in 1985 and since then have not issued OC and water connection….the only mistake they did was not take a strong stand when the underworld issued death threats to the engineers if they thought abt demolishion (all this is in newspapers)

    5. for people buying flats post 1985, warning signals were already there…a stop work order, no OC, no water…what were they thinking when buying the property? For those who have bought flats post 94, dint they ever wonder why the society has not got OC for over 10 yrs & that the society is ordering water tankers daily…ridiculous!!!

    6. An argument about residents paying income tax & property tax & having been paid registration amount & stamp duty…this argument doesnt apply. All this is for the revenue dept which takes it for granted that the property is legal. An illegal hutment resident if he pays income tax doesnt mean his hut is legal…however, BMC should return the property tax collected so far (approx 5000 per year multiplied by years…peanuts)

    7. For those blaming the CM, he is doing a right thing by not bringing in an ordinance. if he does, he will have to do so for entire mumbra, mira road, bhayender & other 55000 bldgs in mumbai alone. BTW, as per news papers, Fali Nariman has clearly advised CM against bringing an ordinance.

    these elite residents have been ignorant and now are calling themselves the victims

    BTW, UPA has nothing to do with this. NDA is no solution. Modi lovers will be due for a shock…by being a failed PM…thats my prediction

  13. Daer Subra,
    Instead of indulging in a blame game,lets talk about solutions,
    1. Politicians/ babus/buildiers are not born but they are just people like us who abused their positions and are getting away with it which should not happen.Corrupition , neopotism happens everywhere but if they know they can get away with it then it is easy to succumb to temptaion, hence the solution is in imposing laws equally and effectively for everyone.
    2. For this we have to elect right kind of people to represent us and the more cynical we are about politicians the more and more horror stories will be emerging in our daily lives. Belive me there are good & willing people who can represent us and the choice is not always between a bad and a worse politician the only need is to unite a recognise the tiger in the room before it is too late.
    For example, we had Mr. Arun Bhatia who is the most honest and upright municipal commissioner my city has had, stand against Mr. Suresh kalmadi for election as MP from Pune, but he lost because of the apathy of the citizens to do the right thing.
    3. Equality before the law is almost an utopian idea in India as we have huge class,cast and all other forms of disparities segregating people who are all born equal as humans and there is no derth of people who are clever enough to exploit these to their advantage.
    4. There is no quick fix solution for this but as charity begins at home it is the responsibility of each one of us as citizens to be concoius of our responsibilities and to raise our voice and basically to do the right thing rather than succumb to easy temptations for any and everything.

  14. I understand that the building does not have BMC approval. However it is still not clear WHY it is so? The reasons are likely to be entirely arbitrary.No theft of property has happened -as happens in most slum squatters.
    That is why there is no benefit in razing down the apartment and destroying wealth.ILLEGAL is not immoral.Legislations and regulations cant make a simple act of building a house on an unowned piece of land immoral.
    Sure,the GOVT can show who is the big boss and destroy it.Whats new with that -jiski lathi uski bhains. No difference between any ordinary goonda and the govt then.

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