New Delhi: Residents of five residential complexes in a posh area of Kochi are up in arms against the Supreme Court’s order to demolish the apartments, citing a violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
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. The apex court, on May 8, had ordered the Kerala government to demolish all the illegal apartments before September 20.
On September 6, the SC served a stern reminder to the state government to do the needful.
According to the CRZ norms, no construction is permitted within 200 metres of the coast in the area.
The SC verdict came after the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) challenged in the top court, the Kerala High Court’s verdict in 2016 in which the HC blamed the KCZMA for the builders managing to get a stay from it in the case, in 2007, and continuing with the construction.
The residents, many of whom are celebrities from the Malayalam film industry, call the Supreme Court decision an ‘absolute injustice’ and allege that they haven’t even been heard. Questioning the five-day notice, they wonder where thousand people are supposed to go in just five days.
However, they have received support from all political parties in the state, who have opposed the court’s order.
The Maradu municipality, meanwhile, which has been given the responsibility to carry out the demolitions, has said that it cannot do so without the state government and has asked for its help if the demolition is to be done.