The Supreme Court has also asked the chief secretary of the state to submit the demolition report directly to the court on September 23.

SC gives ultimatum to demolish Kochi apartments 400 residents must move out in 2 weeksMidhun J
news Housing Friday, September 06, 2019 - 13:27

Giving an ultimatum to demolish the four apartment buildings in Kochi built violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, the Supreme Court on Friday said that buildings should be demolished by September 20. The bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra has also directed the chief secretary of the state to present the demolition report directly to the court on September 23.

In May this year, the Supreme Court ruled that five apartments located in Maradu municipality in Kochi were built in violation of CRZ. While four of the apartment buildings – Holy Faith, Kayaloram, Alfa Ventures and Jain Housing – are occupied by residents, one is yet to be constructed. It was ordered that the apartments should be demolished within one month from the date of the verdict. There are about 400 residents living in these four apartment buildings.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday had started suo motu proceedings against Maradu municipality for not complying with the court order. The case was heard on Friday.

Though multiple writ petitions and review petitions were filed by multiple residents and builders of the apartments, the apex court stuck to its order.

In July, Maradu municipality had started to estimate how much it will cost to demolish the buildings. On the request of the local body, the state government had also appointed an expert team to look into the environmental hazards that will be caused during the demolition of the buildings situated on the banks of Kochi’s backwaters.

Read: Kerala local body estimates cost of demolishing illegal Kochi apartments

The only relief, though temporary, which the residents got was when the SC vacation bench comprising of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi gave an interim relief of one month in June. But Justice Arun Mishra, who gave the initial verdict to demolish the flats, had come down heavily on the petitioners and counsels citing that they played fraud on the court by going to the vacation bench in the case.

The state government had also taken a firm stand in the case by saying that the concerned local body should initiate demolition procedures.

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