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Kochi flats demolition on schedule, residents to move out
Kochi, September 29, 2019
The residents of the Maradu flats complex, set for demolition, on Sunday decided to move out of their homes after a meeting with Ernakulam district authorities, paving the way for the implementation of the Supreme Court directive.
The total of 240 families who occupy 356 flats in the four buildings in the Maradu complex, will be moving out latest by Thursday.
The apex court had on September 6 ordered demolition of the complex by September 20 for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone rules.
On Sunday morning, the flat residents had begun an indefinite protest, but called it off at around 3 p.m. after talks with top district authorities, who had reached the spot, led to an amicable solution.
Talking to the media after the meeting, a representative of the flat owners said that they had decided to end their protest and move out.
"The discussions were fruitful and most of our demands have been agreed to by the district authorities, who will find suitable alternate accommodation for us besides paying the rent. Hence we have decided to end our protest and cooperate with the authorities so as the Supreme Court orders are adhered to," one of the representatives said.
Following the agreement, the district authorities made arrangements to restore the electricity and water connections to the complex.
The Supreme Court has directed the Kerala government to disburse Rs 25 lakh as interim compensation to each flat owner within four weeks and later recover it from the builders.
The top court also appointed Kerala High Court's retired judge K. Balakrishnan Nair to head a three-member committee which will include a technical and civil expert to decide on any increase in the compensation amount, and to oversee the demolition.
Kochi Sub-Collector S. K. Singh , appointed as special officer in charge of demolition, confirmed that several companies who have expertise in demolition, have expressed their willingness to participate in the tender process and it will be done soon.
Meanwhile, Crime Branch chief Tomin Thachenkery arrived at the complex on Sunday, as the Kerala government have entrusted it with the probe into the entire episode.
According to the affidavit submitted by the Kerala government in the top court, the demolition would be completed in 90 days and the debris would be cleared in another 30 days.
(Our News Desk can be contacted at email@example.com)
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