Maradu flats demolition: Mock drill carried out successfully
Kochi: Four months after the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of four multi-storey illegal apartment complexes at Maradu, near here, experts and authorities on Friday engaged in last minute checks for the first round of demolition on Saturday and another on Sunday.
A mock drill was carried out to ensure safety of citizens. Everything was enacted except for the pressing of the button, which will trigger the collapse.
Inspector General Vijay Sakhare told the media that everything is ready and Section 144 of the CrPC will be enforced on Saturday on land, air and water.
The IG added that the mock drill was successful. “Several minor lapses were noticed during the drill which will be resolved immediately. The siren will be moved to an elevated location,” he added.
"Around 800 police officials will be keeping close watch when the demolition process begins, in the waterfront area of the flat, there would be no movement of boats allowed."
"In the air, in and around the demolition area, flying of drones has been banned. If any drone is spotted, it would be shot down and criminal procedures would be initiated against the drone owner," said Sakhare.
The demolition will be around 11 am, when the first building will be razed to the ground within seconds, followed by the second demolition. The final round of demolition will take place on Sunday.
The mock drill was held after a primary evaluation of safety measures taken by police. Besides the IG, Ernakulam collector S. Suhas, Fort Kochi sub collector Snehil Kumar Singh were among those present at the spot.
The Maradu complex comprises 356 flats in four buildings and had housed 240 families. After all the occupants moved out, authorities had removed all the windows and other things from the building and all what remains is a skeleton structure.
The apex court had on September 6 ordered its demolition by September 20 for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, but Kerala government dilly dallied it.
It was only after the court went hammer and tongs against Chief Secretary Tom Jose, did the Kerala government finally decide that there was no other way out but to get ready for the demolition.
After various rounds of discussions the date was finalised and through an open tender process, the demolition was handed over to companies who have done similar operations in the past.
(With inputs from IANS)