Over the last one week, the state of Kerala have been following the protest by the residents of four apartment complexes in Ernakulam’s Maradu area. The residents of these apartment complexes have less than 24 hours, as given by the Maradu Municipality to vacate their homes. This is following the Supreme Court’s order on September 20 to demolish these buildings for flouting the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.
However, leaders from both the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) have voiced their support to the 300 plus families belonging to the four apartment complexes who have been protesting since September 9 against the proposed demolition of their homes.
Earlier on Saturday, Congress leader and state Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, after visiting the protesting residents, urged the state government to take urgent measures to help the residents of these apartments. “These are common people, who have spent their entire life's savings to buy homes in these apartments. As of now, the Government and the CM have not come forward to do anything to help them or to stand with them,” said Chennithala.
The Opposition leader went on to cite examples of the Adarsh Housing complexes in Mumbai and the DLF complex in Kochi by stating that these illegal constructions were regularised by asking the builders to pay fines as penalty. “Why can’t we do something like that here as well? Is there a separate law for DLF and Adarsh in this country?” asked Chennithala.
Meanwhile, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the state secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) reacted to the ongoing crisis by stating that his party will always stand with the protesting residents through the crisis. “Our aim at the moment is to ensure that the government does everything that is legally possible to prevent the demolition of the apartments,” he said.
“Even if the residents are asked to vacate, the party will provide all the necessary support to support and rehabilitate them. We have done that in the past as well,” added Kodiyeri.
The Supreme Court of India in May 2019 ordered for the demolition of four apartment complexes in Maradu — Jains Coral Cove, Golden Kayaloram, H2O Holy Faith and Alfa Serene, after they were found to have been built in violation of the CRZ rules. The CRZ rules prohibit construction within a certain distance from the coast, backwaters, rivers and lake beds.