Kochi: The Maradu municipal council on Tuesday sealed the fate of over 450 residents of the five apartments at Maradu by asking them to vacate the flats within five days to facilitate the demolition of the buildings.
An emergency meeting of the council served notice to the residents in this regard as per the Supreme Court verdict to demolish the flats before September 20.
The municipal administration has also invited expressions of interest to raze the apartments through controlled explosion.
The council decided to forward to the government two resolutions moved by members demanding to protect the interests of the apartment owners.
A section of the apartment owners protested before the council demanding that they should be allowed to present their views and sit in the council hall. They will
hold a fast before the hall on the Onam day on Wednesday.
The ruling and opposition members entered into heated arguments in the council blaming each other for the present situation. They introduced separate
resolutions calling to protect the interest of the apartment owners.
Municipal secretary M. Mohammad Arif Khan said the council cannot pass resolution.
The matter was beyond its jurisdiction, he said
Hibi seeks centre’s help
Hibi Eden, MP, has sought the intervention of Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar to save the apartment owners facing eviction. In a letter to Mr. Javadekar, he said the issue is one of human rights that calls for the intervention of the MoEF as it is the final authority for the CRZ notification. “The innocent buyers should not be penalised for the violations made by the builders,” the letter said. Hibi also recalled the Supreme Court verdict on the DLF flats in Kochi imposing a penalty of Rs 1 crore and staying the demolition to help the families already residing there.
Hibi also stated that as per the latest CRZ notification, the areas come under the CRZ-II category and there was no illegality in construction in the area. “The MoEF may give retrospective effect to the notification dated February 28, 2019 so as to regularise the buildings and save the innocent owners,” he said. He also urged the minister to deploy the union government’s law officers like the attorney-general or the solicitor-general to present the case in the Supreme Court.
Residents given eviction notices
The residents of the five apartments at Maradu will have to leave their flats with their belongings before September 14. An eviction notice to this effect was given to the flat owners by the Maradu municipality on Tuesday. The notice dated September 9 and signed by the municipal secretary gave the residents five days to comply with the order. “The residents are directed to leave their flats along with their belongings within five days. If they fail to do so, it will be considered as a violation of the Supreme Court order and legal action will be taken against the violators. The municipality will take action like prosecution with the power vested in the secretary, as per the Kerala Municipalities Act, 1994," the notice said. It also warned that the amount spent for the action will be recovered from the violators. The notices were pasted on the flats by officials.
The notice was ratified in a special council meeting held at the municipality on Tuesday morning. In protest, the flat owners staged a sit-in before the council....