At the end of tether, Maradu apartment owners stage protest

A child holding the placard, Save My Home, during a protest organised by a section of the residents of the five apartments in Maradu, which the Supreme Court ordered to be pulled down, before the Maradu municipality on Tuesday.  

With all the legal options running out, a section of the residents of the Maradu apartments, which the Supreme Court had ordered to be pulled down for violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, took out a protest march to the Maradu municipality seeking governmental intervention in the issue.

Inaugurating the protest meeting, Sebastian Paul, a former Parliamentarian, suggested that the authorities go in for a ‘deemed demolition’ of the five flats and regularise the buildings.

As the CRZ 2019 notification permits the construction at the site of the buildings, which the court found as illegal, the authorities could also think in terms of giving retrospective effect to the legislation. “The building should not be demolished on the basis of a wrong order from the Supreme Court. Abstaining from demolishing the building is what the authorities could do to protect public interest,” he said.

The State government should take up the case of the residents, who would be thrown out of their homes if the buildings are demolished, with the Centre. A political decision and interference was also required in the case, he said.

Mr. Paul also argued that abstaining from demolishing the building was good in terms of humanitarian and environmental considerations.

In his address, K. Babu, former Minister, advised the residents not to move the apex court with their grievances till October next. Mr. Babu, who didn’t elaborate on the sanctity of the date, said the apex court order lacked humanitarian touch. The real culprits who supported the construction of the buildings in violation of rules should be identified. The State government should take the initiative for resolving the crisis. If some legislation is possible to save the structures, the State should also explore that option, he said.

Mr. Babu, who felt that the demolition of the buildings would do more environmental damage than allowing them to remain there, called for an expert study on the various aspects of demolition. He also called upon the civic representatives of Maradu municipality to stand by the residents and not to take any hasty steps for razing the structures.

Shamsudheen Karunagapally presided over the meeting.

Film-maker Major Ravi and representatives of various political parties and organisations addressed the meeting.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 1:43:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/at-the-end-of-tether-maradu-apartment-owners-stage-protest/article28760521.ece

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