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SC okays Maradu demolition, orders Kerala govt to pay owners Rs 25 lakh each as interim compensation

The state government had filed an affidavit in the Court today, saying the demolition process would be completed in 138 days — 90 for demolition and the remaining days for the removal of debris. 

By: Express Web Desk | Kochi | Updated: September 27, 2019 1:12:40 pm
Maradu flats case, Maradu illegal constructions case, Kerala Maradu flats, Kerala Maradu illegal constructions, Supreme Court, Kerala government, Kerala Police, Kerala news, city news, Indian Express The Maradu flats in Kochi. (File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday gave its nod to the demolition of the Maradu flats near Kochi, but ordered the Kerala government to pay an interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the flat owners within four weeks. It said this money can be recovered from those responsible for erecting the structures.

The state government had filed an affidavit in the Court today, saying the demolition process would be completed in 138 days — 90 for demolition and the remaining days for the removal of debris.

Read this story in Malayalam

The apex court told the state government to ensure the process commences on time.

Initially, the apex court had asked the state Chief Secretary to give an undertaking to carry out the demolition in writing within a week, but then refrained and recorded an oral undertaking.

The top court has also frozen the assets of the builders and promoters who constructed the buildings in the coastal zone areas, news agency PTI reported. It has also ordered the setting up of a one-member committee of retired High Court judge to oversee the demolition and assess the total compensation, PTI added.

The next date of hearing is October 25.

The four apartment complexes, which are constructed in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms in Ernakulam’s Maradu municipality, have been without electricity for the last three days. Water supply has been reportedly cut off too.

Also read | Kerala: Tale of two Coastal Regulation Zone violation cases, two SC rulings

Residents of 343 units in these residential complexes have been protesting the demolition, saying they have been residing here for several years, and therefore should not be punished for a fault on part of the authorities.

“We are worried over the government’s move, but there is no question of vacating the flats, come what may,” said T Francis, a resident of the flats. “We should not be punished for the fault of government departments. We will not move out even if they cut supply of all essentials to our flats. The only option would be suicide,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Kerala Police registered cases against builders under IPC Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property).

The apex court on Monday had come down heavily on the state authorities for their failure to implement the demolition order.

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