Staff Reporter

KOCHI: About 45 families are facing the prospects of being rendered homeless following a move to demolish sections of an apartment complex in the heart of the city for the proposed Kochi metro rail project.

It is learnt that authorities have plans to demolish two blocks of five storeys each out of the seven blocks of the Easland Enclave Apartments located alongside SA Road at Elamkulam for erecting a station for the proposed project.

“In that case, about 250 people, including children, will be left without a home,” said S. Nagarajan, secretary of the Easland Enclave Apartment Owners’ Association. Mr. Nagarajan’s house would be among those that would be pulled down if the move becomes a reality.

Residents’ appeal

He alleged that authorities laid boundary stones on their premises and marked their apartments for demolition without any notice. “Following this, we approached the district administration and only then did we come to know about the move,” Mr. Nagarajan said.

Twenty days ago, the families of the two blocks in question were asked to submit copies of the documents proving their ownership to the district administration.

“Since then, we have submitted the relevant documents along with a memorandum requesting to exempt our apartments from acquisition, to the District Collector, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Mr. Jyothilal, the government Secretary who is in charge of the metro project,” said Mr. Nagarajan.

The families are yet to receive any intimation from the authorities.

It is pointed out that there is an open ground adjacent to the two blocks that could be acquired for the purpose, thus sparing the families. The families lament that no amount of compensation or rehabilitation would be sufficient.

“We would not be able to find an ideal location like the one we have now, no matter what the compensation is,” said Mr. Nagarajan.

The families have vowed to approach the court if the authorities refused to drop the plan to demolish their apartments.

Revenue officials, however, said the apartment blocks may be spared demolition since there was scope for building the station by effecting slight modifications to the apartments, without displacing the families.