With the 17-storey Golden Kayaloram in Kochi razed down on Sunday, the demolition of the four high-rise buildings ordered by the Supreme Court in Maradu stands completed.
All of these buildings were issued demolition orders in September 2019 after a three-member committee appointed by the top court found them to be constructed in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms.
At around 2.30 pm on Sunday, Golden Kayaloram, among the oldest of the four Maradu buildings, collapsed. This is the final apartment to be demolished per the Supreme Court’s order.
The 17-storey apartment complex located in Nettoor in Maradu was demolished by Mumbai-based Edifice Engineering, which also razed down two other buildings – H2O Holy Faith on Saturday and Jain Coral Cove on Sunday.
Golden Kayaloram consists of 40 apartment units, out of which 37 houses had been occupied by families. Edifice Engineering had stripped down the building to its skeletal structure and drilled 960 holes that were filled with explosives. With Controlled Implosion – a technique of demolition which results in the building collapsing inwards with minimal risk to its surrounding areas – the structure was brought down in seconds. This was also the building for which the least amount of explosives was used – 14.8 kg. These explosives were not filled in all floors, but were strategically filled in floors 1, 2 and 7. It is also estimated that the demolition of the building was carried out at a cost of Rs 21 lakhs.
In the months of October and November, the 37 families living in Golden Kayaloram were evicted from the building. The apartment’s next door neighbour is an Anganwadi. During the period of demolition, the school remained closed and all residents living within a 200-metre radius were cleared out by the police, who had imposed Section 144 in the area.
The Anganwadi may also remain closed in the subsequent months, and will be opened after the dust and debris from the building demolition settles down.
Safety measures prior to demolition
On Sunday morning. safety measures were put in place by the district administration, similar to the preparations on Saturday. Prohibitory orders as per Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was imposed from 8 am within the 200-metre radius of the apartment building.
Nobody was allowed to stay within the exclusion zone. The residents of the area were evacuated by 9 am on Sunday morning to safe locations. Two buses were deployed to pick up residents for this. A medical team along with two ambulances were also deployed at two spots outside the cordoned 200-metre radius to meet any unprecedented situations or medical emergencies.