Housing
Political leaders have voiced support for the residents of the Maradu flats in Kochi which are due to be demolished, as per the directions of Supreme Court.

Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy wrote to the current CM Pinarayi Vijayan about holding an all-party meeting to discuss the critical situation created by the Supreme Court order demanding the evacuation of Maradu flat residents by September 20.

“The SC should be approached about it. The Centre should also be approached to take into consideration the coastal regulation zone rules it had released on February 28 this year,” Oommen Chandy said. “An all-party petition team should immediately head for Delhi.”

He said that while the apex court cannot be questioned for its interest in environmental protection, the interests of the 357 families staying there should also be considered. The flat builders who were supposed to have checked the legal side and got proper permissions are not even in the picture, he added.

The former CM advised that the court should be convinced of the environmental damage that would be caused to the waterlogged areas if the flat is demolished, as stated in a report by IIT-Madras. The SC should also hear the side of the families who have been asked to vacate their homes.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has also come in support of the flat residents. He has said that while it is everyone's responsibility to implement the Supreme Court order, the after-effects should also be resolved through the court. “Action should be taken against those who violated the law. The order now would make the flat residents homeless,” he said. 

A march would be held by the CPI(M) district committee on Saturday, towards Maradu, against the demolition.

Support also came from other Congress leaders. Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh tweeted: "Supreme Court has ordered demolition of apartments in Kochi that violate Coastal Regulation Zone rules. Yet, in similar case of violation it imposed penalty on DLF & regularised. It had stayed the demolition of Adarsh housing complex in Mumbai. Why such differential treatment?"

Residents to file writ petition

Meanwhile, the residents have said that they would approach the President and the Prime Minister seeking their intervention in the issue, according to a report by The Hindu. They will also be writing to all the MPs and MLAs from the state as well as the Speaker and the Governor. A writ petition will also be filed at the Kerala High Court, challenging the evacuation notice.