New Delhi: The Kerala government has called an all-party meeting on September 17 to discuss the plight of owners of over 350 flats in Maradu municipality of Kochi, which, under the orders of the Supreme Court, are to be demolished by September 20.
According to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office, the meeting will be held at 3:30 PM.
In a judgement in May, the apex court sided with the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA), which asserted that five residential complexes violated the norms laid under Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, which state that no construction is allowed within 200 metres of any coast in the state.
The SC directed the Kerala government to demolish all the illegal buildings by September 20 and on September 6, had even pulled up the state government for not having acted on its instructions till now.
The five residential complexes-Holy Faith, Kayaloram, Alfa Ventures, Holy Heritage and Jain Housing-are located in Maradu municipality, on the outskirts of Kochi, in the Ernakulam district, overlooking the scenic Kochi backwaters.
357 families on Saturday defied Maradu Municipal Corporation’s order to vacate their flats by September 14, saying that they had nowhere to go. They allege that they have not been heard by the SC and argue that they bought their flats after obtaining all permissions and licences and it is wrong to punish them for the possible mistakes committed by builders and others.
Political parties in Kerala, however, have supported the residents and have assured them of all help. Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, too, has expressed concern over the owners’ plight.
The municipal authorities, meanwhile, say that they will take their next step as per directions of the state government.