SC upholds Kerala High Court order to demolish 59 villas on Vembanad island

The HC in 2013 had ordered demolition of the villas for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
SC upholds Kerala High Court order to demolish 59 villas on Vembanad island
SC upholds Kerala High Court order to demolish 59 villas on Vembanad island
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The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Kerala High Court order to demolish 59 villas and other constructions in Nediyanthuruthu, an island in Alappuzha district’s Vembanad region.

The Kerala High Court had ordered in 2013 to demolish the constructions as it was found that there was violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules. 

The HC in its 2013 order said that the villas were built violating the CRZ, Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification-2006, Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act 2008 and Wetland Conservation and Management Rules-2010.

On Friday, a Supreme Court bench headed by justice Rohinton F Nariman, upheld the HC order.

While upholding the HC order, SC dismissed the arguments that the demolition would cause immense damage to the nearby residents and their properties.

The villas, constructed on the Vembanad backwaters, are promoted by Muthoot group and Kuwait-based Kapico group, reports the The New Indian Express.

Nediyanthuruthu is among the seven small islets in the Vembanad backwaters, located in Panavally grama panchayat in the district.

The Vembanad backwaters are protected by the Ramsar Convention- an international convention on wetlands.

According to the Kerala Tourism website, “the Vembanadu-Kol wetlands, one of the richest wetland habitats and the largest on the southwestern coast of India, has been identified as a Ramsar site as per guidelines of the Ramsar Convention of 1971. It was declared as Ramsar site of international importance in 2002.”

According to a report submitted by the state government to the HC in October 2019, about 625 constructions along Vembanad Lake in Ernakularm, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts had been served noticed to be demolished.

The properties, as per the statement filed by the Local Self Government, are mostly residential in nature. It also stated that the maximum number of violations have been found along the Vembanad Lake stretch of Ernakulam district.

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