KOCHI: The apartment complexes at Maradu will not be demolished immediately, according to local administration minister A.C. Moideen.
The government will take a decision after getting the report of the Chennai IIT team deputed to study the environmental impact of the demolition.
The Supreme Court had on Thursday dismissed a review petition seeking a reconsideration of its earlier verdict ordering the demolition of the apartment complexes for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
The minister told reporters in Thrissur on Friday that the environmental impact of the demolition needed to be assessed. The government is concerned about the interests of over 350 individual apartment owners. The people who have bought the flats are innocents, he said.
The SC has ordered the demolition of the apartments on a petition filed by the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) citing CRZ violations. The building permits for the apartments were granted when Maradu was a panchayat. The local body issued showcause notices to some of the builders when it was elevated to a municipality in 2006. The builders then approached the High Court which upheld the building permissions.
The Supreme Court, however, took a different view and ordered the demolition of the five apartment buildings and observed that Kerala cannot afford to have another flood, similar to the one it faced in 2018. The apex court verdict held unauthorised constructions as one of the reasons for the devastating floods.
The state government and the Maradu municipality are faced with issues such as the cost of the demolition as well as the disposal of the debris. The initial estimate for the demolition is projected to be Rs 30 crore and the Maradu municipality does not have financial resources or the technical competence for undertaking such a task.
The government will have to provide the financial and technical expertise for the work. The SC verdict has also cast a shadow on the 66 building complexes in the state allegedly involved in the violation of CRZ rules as per the report by KCZMA....