Vembanad Kerala
The high-end tourist resort is situated on an island in the backwaters of the Vembanad lake

7-star Kerala resorts in Alappuzha district to be demolished for CRZ violations

The Kerala government on Monday took back possession of a chunk of poramboku land — area which is not assessed by the revenue department — from Kapico Kerala Resorts Private Limited. With this, the way is clear for the demolition of the seven-star tourism property worth Rs 200 crore in the backwaters of Alappuzha district for violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.

The Supreme Court had in 2020 ordered the demolition of the high-end tourist resort, which is situated on an island in the backwaters of the Vembanad lake. The court had rejected the resort management’s petition challenging the demolition of the structure spread over 36,000 sq ft.

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Demolition plan to be submitted

Alappuzha district collector Krishna Theja, who took possession of the land encroached by the resort group, said: “The resort people are going to submit a demolition plan to the grama panchayat secretary soon. The plan will be accorded approval after a review by the district administration and the panchayat. Our plan is to start demolition in a week. The demolition and transportation of waste, which will be carried out in an environmentally safe manner, will be completed in six months.” The resort management has to dispose of the debris in a safe manner, he added.

The villas will be demolished by the builder under the supervision of the Panavally grama panchayat secretary. “The resort people will deploy equipment and workers needed to demolish the structures. They will bear the entire cost of the operation. The work will be carried out under the direction of the panchayat secretary,” said an official.

Controversial from Day 1

The project is spread over seven hectares and falls under the Panavally village panchayat. Construction of the resort, comprising 54 posh villas, started in 2007 and was completed in 2012. As the project faced allegations of land encroachment and violation of CRZ rules, the resort group could not open it for commercial operations.

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In March 2013, the Kerala High Court ordered the demolition of Kapico along with the illegal structures constructed by Vaamika Island (Green Lagoon Resort) on Vettila Thuruthu, also in Vembanad Lake. Kapico challenged the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court. The apex court on January 10, 2020, dismissed appeals by Kapico while observing that the constructions on the backwater island had violated coastal and environmental regulations.

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