Noting that the controversial Campa Cola building's litigation has been going on for the past 13 years, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said the Supreme Court's decision to order its demolition was 'very, very harsh.'
Briefing the media after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in regard to developmental projects undertaken in his state, Mr Chavan, however, added that with the apex court giving a temporary breather to residents of the entangled building in Mumbai, his government is exploring legal options to deal with the issue.
Admitting that there were many buildings in Mumbai which do not have the necessary certificate of occupancy (OC) because they are in violation of building rules, he said there was little the state or civic authorities can do as there are no laws in place to deal with such situations. "There are no provisions to take things further," he added.
"Of course, there are questions. Why was the building allowed to go on? Did the occupants know the building was illegal? There are lingering questions," Mr Chavan said.
He admitted the residents of the building had approached the state government asking it to bring an ordinance to save the building. However, the government wanted that it be demolished and rebuilt.
Asked why so many buildings court controversy in the city, the Chief Minister said a distinction needs to be made between illegal and unsafe buildings, alluding to the Mumbra building collapse in April this year.
The Chief Minister said that he sympathised with the occupants of the Campa Cola building and therefore his government has already passed the Maharashtra Housing Regulation and Development Bill so that such a situation does not arise again. UNI JS BDP RP1900 NNNN
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