A week after four towering apartment buildings in Kochi’s Maradu Municipality were razed to the ground, companies concerned have started removing debris from the sites. The four buildings were demolished on January 11 and 12 following a Supreme Court order for violating Coastal Regulation Zone rules.
On Sunday, Chennai-based agency Vijay Steels removed two trucks of steel and iron rods from four sites where the apartment complexes were demolished. This was transported to Chennai on the same day. According to the officials of Vijay Steels, more debris will be sent to Chennai in the coming days.
Vijay Steels, which demolished the twin towers of Alfa Serene, is in charge of separating the steel and iron rods from the concrete debris of all four buildings. Only after this is completed can the concrete debris be removed.
The demolition of the four waterfront apartment buildings, reportedly the first of its kind in the country, has produced about 76,250 tonnes of debris. Aluva-based company Prompt Enterprises has taken up the contract of removing the concrete debris from the areas at a cost of Rs 35 lakh.
Talking to TNM, Achyuth Joseph, a partner of Prompt Enterprises, said that there has been no delay in the works and that they are waiting for a green signal from Vijay Steels. “Vijay Steels has asked us to wait for a few more days to start the removal of concrete debris,” added Achyuth.
Meanwhile, residents in the region have been raising complaints of the dust pollution for the last one week. Though the municipality had arranged for spraying water on the debris to control the dust, it was not effective.
The officials of Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed a state-level monitoring committee and visited the spots on Saturday. The officials observed that the ongoing spraying of water was not effective and directed to use jet sprinklers.
“Additional barriers with metal sheets and dust control facilities like double-layered garden nets should also be provided,” said the officials. The officials also directed that there should be periodical wetting of the roads and CCTV surveillance of the sites as per the Construction and Waste Management Rules, 2016. As per the rules, the municipality is also responsible to satisfactorily complete the removal of debris as per the direction of the Supreme Court. The apex court also directed that the debris should be removed within three and half months.