Maradu apartment complexes demolition evokes mixed reactions
Kochi: Reactions were mixed from among the thousands who watched the demolition of two illegal apartment complexes at Maradu here on Saturday, with one saying it was a stern warning to those flouting rules and others saying it has only created serious ecological and financial issues.
As the two complexes were reduced to rubble in seconds through controlled implosion, a youth from Alappuzha hailed the Supreme Court order and said it was a stern warning to those who undermine the legal system of the country and violate it using their money power.
"I came here early this morning from Alappuzha to experience the rarest of the rare visuals", he said.
Tony P Emmanuel, a social worker from Elanji in Ernakulam district, said such a strong decision by the apex court would send across a message to people across the country that the law of the land should be respected.
"The Supreme Court intervened at the right time because such violations are rampant in coastal areas of Kerala. I think none will now dare to violate rules for their vested interests," said Emmanuel, who watched the demolition of the apartment complexes live on TV.
However, some others said the buildings should not have been demolished as the owners had bought the flats spending their lifetime savings.
"The law should be for the benefit and welfare of the people. By this demolition no one has benefited. On the other hand, it has created serious ecological issues," advocate N Nambiar said.
Sreekumar, a manager in a private company in Idukki district averred that nothing would be gained from this exercise.
"The demolition has caused severe losses--both financially and ecologically", he said.
He reached Maradu this morning to watch the demolition, which he described as a "rare lifetime experience".
The two high rise apartment complexes--Holy Faith H2O and the twin towers of Alfa Serene Apartment-- were demolished on Saturday using controlled implosion as authorities began implementing the Supreme Court order to bring down four waterfront structures in Maradu Municipality here.
The two other apartment complexes--Jain Coral Cove and Golden Kayaloram--will be brought down on Sunday in compliance with the Apex Court order.
A total of 343 waterfront flats were built in the complexes, violating Coastal Regulation Zone norms.
The Supreme Court had in September 2019 directed demolition of the apartment complexes within 138 days, a time line given by the Kerala government.
On May 8 last year, the apex court had directed that these buildings be removed within a month as they were constructed in a notified CRZ, which was part of the tidally-influenced water body in Kerala.
The court had passed the order after taking note of a report of a three-member committee, which said when the buildings were built, the area was already notified as a CRZ and construction was prohibited.
Though the residents staged protests for several days refusing to vacate, later they relented.
The court has ordered an interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the owners of the flats.