Maradu crisis deepens, flat owners begin hunger strike
Kochi: While the time is running out for the flat owners in the posh Maradu apartment complex, to be demolished by Friday as per the Supreme Court order, the builders have washed their hands off it and the Kerala government has convened an all-party meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
The Maradu complex comprises 356 flats in five buildings and 240 families are living there. The apex court on September 6 had ordered its demolition by September 20 for violating the the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
The apex court had also asked the Kerala Chief Secretary to be present before the Justice Arun Mishra-headed Bench on September 23.
After that, the Maradu municipality served notices to flat owners to vacate the premises by Saturday. But the flat owners have begun a relay hunger strike. From Monday, they will stage protest at the Maradu local body that gave sanction for the complex over a decade ago.
"I bought a flat few years back from a person who was staying here. When I purchased it, I didn't look into who the builder was but the documents and various tax receipts. The bank that had given loan also checked everything. It's the responsibility of the Kerala government to take appropriate action against wrong-doers," said an angry flat owner.
Meanwhile. Municipality secretary Arif Khan said they had discharged their duties and issued notices to flat owners, but none was complying with it.
On Sunday, the builders stated in writing to the Maradu municipality that their responsibilities ended long back and they had nothing to do with the present situation.
Builders said they had paid all taxes and were no longer responsible for anything there.