MARADU … Kerala govt faced with ultimatum from Supreme Court…asked to DEMOLISH skyscrappers "violating" CRZ rules

picture courtesy … THE WEEK… Manorama News  Com


KOCHI (Kerala): With the Supreme Court putting its foot down and setting a deadline for demolition of five high-rise flat complexes in Maradu near here before September 20, the Kerala government is taking urgent steps to see how matters can be taken forward. Chief secretary Tom Jose, who was pulled up by the court for failure to act fast, will be visiting Maradu for an on-the-spot study of the situation.
The five apartment complexes, or skyscrapers, are the Holiday Heritage, the Holy Faith, the Jain Housing, the Alpha Ventures and the Golden Kayaloram Apartments. Altogether, there are 500 flats, most of which are occupied.

The court was seized of the complaints of violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules in the construction of these waterfront apartments. If the Kerala government fails to file a compliance report – stating that it has started action in respect of the demolitions – the chief secretary will have to personally appear before the Supreme Court on September 23, to explain why he could not act.

The apex court order was passed by a division bench of Justice Arun Misra and MR Shah, which took up the matter on its own motion for compliance. Petitioners including residents of the flats had obtained a temporary stay order against demolition from a different bench of the apex court during a court vacation period, and this has irritated the SC. The vacation bench consisted of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Ajay Rastogi.
In May this year, the supreme court had directed the Kerala government to remove the “illegal structures” in Maradu municipal area. The apex court stressed that any such construction along the coastal region should be done only with approaval from the coastal zone management authority of the central government.
Image courtesy …CBN News18

While ordering the same, the Court observed that construction in CRZ areas can be allowed only after consultation with the Coastal Zone Management Authority.

In a review petition, the Holy Faith Constructions company tried unsuccessfully to impress upon the apex court that the demolition order was issued based on an incorrect understanding of the scenario. The constructions were not made in areas notified as CRZ III, but in CRZ II, where there is no bar on constructions under the revised CRZ rules. The court refused to take note. IHN-NN

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