‘Won’t lose hope’: Kochi apt residents to resume legal battle against demolition order

The residents of the four apartment buildings are also uncertain whether the builders would provide them compensation in case the structures are demolished.
‘Won’t lose hope’: Kochi apt residents to resume legal battle against demolition order
‘Won’t lose hope’: Kochi apt residents to resume legal battle against demolition order
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For about 400 residents of four apartments in Kochi, their days have been marked by uncertainty and sleepless nights since May 8, when the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of their apartment buildings as they were built violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. With SC's recent observation in the case, upholding the decision to demolish buildings, the residents are left with no relief.

 "Just imagine how you would feel when one fine day you are told that the house you live in, is going to be demolished,” says Binie, a resident of Golden Kayaloram apartment, one of the buildings that the Maradu Municipality will demolish soon.

 For almost all the residents living in the four apartments - Holy Faith, Kayaloram, Alfa Ventures and Jain Housing - in Maradu, this feeling, of hopelessness, is similar.

 "When we got the one-month stay in the May 8 verdict, we were relieved, not because we had won; at least we would not have had to hear the news daily that buildings in Maradu will be demolished. But now with the recent judgement, our nightmares have started again," said Binie. 

She has been living in the apartment for eight years. However, neither Binie nor the other 39 families residing in Golden Kayaloram apartment had ever heard that the building was constructed illegally.

 “For many years, that is, before buying the apartment, I was living nearby, within the Maradu municipality limits. I bought this flat since I thought it will be safe and secure to live alone,” says Philomina, a resident of one of the apartments in the building. 

 “Though I hail from this neighbourhood and have enquired about the apartment before buying it, I have not heard anyone mention that this apartment was entangled in legal issues,” she says.

 Although an air of uncertainty looms in the atmosphere, the residents have not lost hope and said they will continue their legal battle. "If we lose hope now, we won't be able to survive. The need of the hour is to stay strong and think about possibilities in our favour," says Binie.

 Despite the recent SC verdict and Maradu municipality starting the estimation process for the demolition of the buildings, the residents of Golden Kayaloram are going to submit a review petition before the apex court once again.

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