The 140 families of Campa Cola Compound in Worli, South Mumbai are letting out a sigh of relief right now, after the Supreme Court stays the demolition of illegal flats in the housing complex, while granting the harried residents seven more months to vacate the compound. In a completely last minute stay order by the court, the demolition – originally planned on the 11th of November – has been put on hold till the 31st of May 2014, giving ample time for the residents to vacate.
The residents have been fighting a legal battle since 1999, when they first went to the Bombay High Court for water supply and regularization. The court asked the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipality Corportion) to investigate the matter then, and the civic body had served demolition notices for all flats constructed above the fifth floor, which it said were illegal. Residents have been appealing ever since in a prolonged court battle, as they were cheated by the builders.
The fight for justice also took a social media route this year with a Facebook page for ‘Save Campa Cola Compund’ that shared details about the battle and how saving Campa Cola will help law abiding citizens fight the builder-corporation nexus so prevalent in the real estate industry in Mumbai.
The community page with more than 16K fans has been a great support to spread awareness about the cause. Wall updates have been sharing details of the case, media clips and programmes. Fans could also see images of what is happening at the compound right from the residents’ hunger strike to being visited by MP Milind Deora to support their cause. The latest update has been about the court’s stay order but the residents will continue with their peaceful protests.
The latest was a petition to the Maharashtra CM, Prithviraj Chavan at Change.org, that has received 32K+ signatures.
Ever since the demolition date, the cause has snowballed into a hot debate on which side is right and the state of Mumbai’s illegal buildings. Twitter has seen the rise of many hashtags related to the cause like #CampaCola, #SaveCampaCola, #BMC, etc. Additionally, it is also trending on Facebook.
#CampaCola Trends on Twitter
Twitter has been flooded with tweets about the fight and since today morning #CamapaCola is trending at the top of India Twitter Trends. According to Topsy, the social media monitoring tool, the hashtag till now has seen more than 7K tweets in last 12 hours which has led to an exposure of 53M. The below screen grab gives a quick look at the activity so far on Twitter:
Some of the tweets that have been making the buzz with #campacola are listed below:
Lesson from #CampaCola tragedy. Let the buyer beware. Your lives may be wiped out. There is no honest deal in the Mumbai property market.
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) November 13, 2013
— NDTV (@ndtv) November 13, 2013
— NDTV (@ndtv) November 13, 2013
— Campa Cola Compound (@savecampacola) November 13, 2013
It wud be interesting to know the name of next door plot owner who stands to gain hugely if #CampaCola flats are demolished!
— Prabhu Chawla (@PrabhuChawla) November 13, 2013
How can you collect property tax for 25 years and then declare the building illegal? #CampaCola
— Karthik Madhavapeddi (@madhavapeddik) November 13, 2013
Middle Class India gets a dose of what poor India faces regularly, probably on a daily basis. #CampaCola
— Kabir Taneja (@KabirTaneja) November 13, 2013
Image courtesy: NDTV