The Kerala government on Saturday (September 28) said the eviction of residents of four illegal apartment complexes in Maradu near Kochi, would commence soon in accordance with a Supreme Court order.
Chief Secretary Tom Jose said the government would take steps to demolish the apartment complexes built on the coastal zone of Kochi’s Maradu as per the action plan submitted by the government in the Supreme Court.
He said the state government would pay ₹25 lakh interim compensation to each flat owner within four weeks as ordered by the Supreme Court. Cracking down on the illegal building constructors, banks have been directed to freeze assets of builders and promoters who were involved in the construction of illegal buildings in the coastal zone areas.
The Chief Secretary’s statement came a day after the Supreme Court ordered demolition of apartment complexes within 138 days, a timeline given by the Kerala government.
The court had said the government may consider recovering the interim compensation amount, which will be paid to flat owners, from the builders and the promoters.
The affidavit had said, “There are 343 flats in the four multi-storeyed apartment buildings covering an area of 68,028.71 square metres.”
According to the the action plan prepared by the government, the finalisation of the firm for undertaking demolition and execution of the agreement would be completed
by October 9. During the same period, notices for evacuation would be issued to owners and occupants of the Maradu flats.
Besides, contingency planning for Kerala Water Authority (KWA), Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited( BSNL), contingency planning and making arrangements by Fire & Rescue Services, bandobast by police and the alternative rehabilitation for the needy occupants would also be carried out before October 9. Notices will be sent to other building owners within 1 km radius.
The administration said at least four days are required for evacuation of flat dwellers and 90 days for demolition of all the buildings, 30 for removal of debris and clearing of site. The entire set of activities are proposed to be completed in 138 days.
On May 8, the top court had directed that these buildings be removed within a month as they were constructed in a notified Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), which was part of the tidally-influenced water body in Kerala.
The court had passed the order after taking note of a report that said that when the buildings were built, the area was already notified as a CRZ and construction was prohibited.
Earlier, the court had rejected a plea filed by the residents of the area against the demolition order. It took strong exception to an order passed by a vacation bench of the apex court, which had stayed the demolition of these buildings for six weeks.
(With inputs from agencies)