Portions of DLF Riverside, a premium waterfront residential project of realty major DLF in Kochi, which were constructed in violation of the CRZ rules should be demolished, said Kerala High Court on Monday.
Earlier, an expert committee had found that the DLF had encroached upon the backwaters.
The single bench of Justice A V Ramakrishna Pillai issued orders to Kochi Municipal Corporation in this regard. Cancelling the building permit the corporation had issued to DLF in 2007, the court ordered for suspension of further construction activities.
The bench of Justice A V Ramakrishna was acting upon a petition filed by a person E V Antony, who is residing near the project.
The premium residential condominium is spread over 5 acres of land along the backwaters. In five separate blocks, the project has 185 units, whose price tag is between Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 4 crore.
“The project was completed a year back and a major chunk of the units have been sold out, but not occupied as the case has been pending. We are yet to get full details of the verdict regarding the area which has to be demolished as per the court order.
However, we would definitely move an appeal in the high court. The issue with the customers who had bought units at the property would be settled through negotiations,’’ company sources in Kochi said.
Earlier, Kerala government had appointed Chief Secretary E K Bharat Bhushan to study the allegations against DLF. The government had cancelled the environmental clearance given to the project by Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority.
Bhushan, in his report, had found serious irregularities in granting sanction to construct the 21-storeyed building along the backwaters at Chelavanoor in Kochi. It was found that the company had not even obtained CRZ clearance for the project, which got all clearances within three months in 2007.
The Chief Secretary had found lapses on the part of officials of the Kerala State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority and Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority in awarding various sanctions for the apartment project.
The report had pulled up the officials of the Kochi Corporation for giving tacit consent for the illegal construction of DLF even after it was found that the reality group had encroached the water body.
Kochi Mayor Tony Chamminni said the corporation would examine how many constructions have come up along the backwaters violating the CRZ rules.