Amidst various apprehensions surrounding the demolition of the four apartment complexes at Maradu in Ernakulam, District Collector S Suhas on Saturday said that the buildings will be razed down, as planned, on January 11 and 12. Putting in place certain safety measures, the Collector also said that prohibitory orders will be imposed around 200 metres of the four buildings on the days of the demolition.
As per the plan, Holy Faith H2O will be demolished at 11 am on January 11 and the twin towers of Alfa Serene will be razed down at 11.30 am the same day. While apartment Jain Coral Cove has been scheduled to be demolished on January 12 at 11 am, Golden Kayaloram apartment will be razed down at 2 pm on the same day.
The residents living near the twin towers of Alfa Serene apartment complex had been protesting with the demand that the building should not be demolished on the first day. They held a hunger strike last week but ended it following an assurance from the Local Self Government Department Minister AC Moideen that their demand will be taken into consideration.
However, after a technical committee meeting held on Friday and the high-level meeting with the District Collector held on Saturday, it was decided that there need not be any change to the schedule of the demolition.
The four apartment complexes were ordered to be razed down following a Supreme Court order of September 2018. The buildings will be demolished through controlled implosion.
As per the District Collector, a total of about 2,000 people living around the area will have to be evacuated. ‚ÄúThe people around the apartment buildings living within 200 metres radius will be evacuated three hours prior to demolition. Two centres have been arranged to shelter residents who have been evacuated - one at Thevara Sacred Hearts College and other at Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies at Panangad. They will be brought back four hours after the demolition of the apartments concerned is over,‚ÄĚ said District Collector S Suhas.
Around 500 police personnel will be deployed at the demolition sites and there will be strict restrictions on entry within the 200 metre of the sites after 9 am on the demolition days. Traffic regulations will also be in place, starting 30 minutes before the demolition.
Meanwhile, the District Administration failed to handover any documents related to the insurance cover for the nearby houses. The residents living around the four apartment complexes and the officials of the Maradu Municipality had been constantly demanding that they need to get access to the documents of insurance policy for their houses. But the Collector once again assured that damaged houses will get an insurance coverage according to the present market value.
Taking the pre-demolition works to the next level, the explosives were placed at the Holy Faith H2O apartment building on Saturday.