Authorities who ignored warnings and went ahead with construction will be made liable for the loss they caused to the exchequer

Green campaigners are planning to sue the officials of Ernakulam district administration who illegally constructed the rainbow (Mazhavil) restaurant at Aluva causing environmental damage and pecuniary loss to the State.

The activists will prepare a report on the economic and environmental loss once the building is demolished.

The officials of the district administration, who ignored repeated warnings and went ahead with the construction, will be made liable for the loss they caused to the exchequer. The building was constructed using public money. “The expense that will be incurred for razing the structure will also have to be recovered from the officials following the Supreme Court order,” said Sivan Madathil who represented the litigant S. Sitaraman of the Environment Protection Forum, Aluva, at the courts. Going by the polluter-pay principle, all the officials who violated the law, constructed the structure and caused ecological damage are responsible for their acts.

“A petition will be moved for recovering the cost from the former Ernakulam Collector, secretaries of Tourism and officials of the District Tourism Promotion Council, who flouted the law, in this regard,” Mr. Madathil said. Last week, Mr. Sitaraman had served a notice through the lawyer, asking the Chief Secretary and others to implement the Supreme Court order to pull down the structure or face contempt of court proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Alappuzha District Collector and the Panavally Panchayat have issued notices to Kapico Kerala Resorts, who constructed 54 luxury cottages on Nediathuruthu on Vembanad Lake, to demolish the structures within a week. The company has also been asked to prepare an inventory of the machinery and their other belongings at the site.

The resort was constructed in around 10 acres with cellars and super structure. Cooling plants, swimming pools and huge generator sets were set up on the island. Underwater cables were also laid to the cottages which came up on around 50,000 sq. ft, said N. Padmakumar, District Collector, Alapuzha.

Each apartment measured around 800 sq. ft and the project took seven years for completion. The demolition, following an order of the High Court of Kerala, may take more than a year considering the mammoth construction. It also requires much expertise for pulling down the building and these issues will have to be brought to the notice of the court.

“The district administration will write to the State government highlighting the complex task,” the collector said.

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