In unprecedented demolition ordered by the Supreme Court, first of the Maradu falts in Kerala’s Kochi was razed to the ground through controlled implosion on Saturday.
The first flat to go was the H2O Holy Faith apartment tower followed by the Alfa Serene flats. Ahead of the demolition, a warning siren was sounded.
The illegal apartment complexes in Maradu are to be demolished Saturday and Sunday as directed by the top court.
Section 144 of the CrPC has been enforced on land, air and water in the area.
The evacuation was completed by 9 am.
— സെബിച്ചൻ (@sebi_mathew) January 11, 2020
On Sunday, the implosion is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Jain Coral Cave and at 2 pm at Golden Kayaloram flats. The evacuation will be done at 9 am and 12 pm respectively.
As per instruction issued, Section 144 will be declared and imposed in the evacuation zone of all the flats to be demolished.
House to house search will be carried out for ensuring 100 per cent evacuation of people residing in the zone.
The residents in the evacuation zone have been asked to switch off electricity and all the appliances before leaving their homes. They are advised to close all windows and doors to protect their home from dust. All traffic — airborne, waterborne, land-based is prohibited in the evacuation zone.
Since all buildings have been charged with explosives, nobody shall fly drones in the evacuation zone from immediate effect. Any violation is extremely dangerous and shall attract legal action.
Based on the warning siren sequence, traffic diversions shall be regulated. People may return to their homes once police removes barricades from the roads leading to the evacuation zone, as per the advisory.
The unprecedented move comes four months after the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of four multi-storey illegal apartment complexes at Maradu in Kochi.
The Maradu complex comprises 356 flats in four buildings and had housed 240 families.
After all the occupants moved out, authorities had removed all the windows and other things from the building and all that remains is a skeleton structure.
The apex court had on September 6, last year, ordered its demolition by September 20 for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, but Kerala government dilly-dallied it.
It was only after the court went hammer and tongs against Chief Secretary Tom Jose, did the Kerala government finally decide that there was no other way out but to get ready for the demolition.
The Supreme Court had on September 27 expressed concern over the sufferings of the Maradu flats residents in Kochi and directed the Kerala government to disburse Rs 25 lakh each as interim compensation to flat owners.
The Kerala government had proposed a time schedule of 120 days to demolish illegal flats at CRZ in Maradu. The government informed the court that in 90 days demolition activities will be completed and rest 30 days, it will take for cleaning the debris.
The court had earlier come down heavily on the Kerala government for non-compliance of its verdict to demolish the buildings.
The top court said it is shocking to know about illegal structures coming up in coastal zone areas and said the chief secretary should conduct a survey to gauge the extent of devastation caused to nature.
The top court linked the loss of lives in the floods in that state too to the situation, saying the natural calamity was due to the government failing to act against illegal structures.