Demolition of illegal resorts in Vembanad may take time

The district administration is of the view that the demolition requires skilled workers and sophisticated machinery.

Baffled by the mammoth task of demolishing the two island resorts in Vembanad Lake built violating the coastal regulation zone guidelines, the authorities are planning to ask for more time to raze them.

A Division Bench of the High Court of Kerala asked the State authorities on July 25 to demolish the 54-villa project of Kapico Kerala Resorts Limited at Nediyathuruthu and some cottages of Vamika Island (Green Lagoon) in Vettilathuruthu within three months.

With a few days left for the expiry of the deadline set by the High Court for pulling down the unauthorised constructions that have come up in Vembanad Lake, a Ramsar wetland of international significance, the Alappuzha district administration has written to the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority stating that it required at least six months more for implementing the order.

A meeting of the senior government officials held earlier this week to take stock of the situation suggested a rapid environment impact assessment on demolition of the huge concrete structures. One needs to find out a way to demolish the structures and transport the debris without leaving a footprint on the fragile lake ecosystem. The ecosystem of the islands also needs to be restored, said an official who attended the deliberations.

The district administration is of the view that the demolition of the resorts, which can be accessed from the mainland only through waterway, requires skilled workers and sophisticated machinery. It’s a specialised job and the village panchayat secretary concerned has informed the authorities that men and machine required for the job were not available, according to the Alappuzha district administration.

The Kapico resort in Nediyathuruthu was built up over a period of seven years. The project is located on an island located 500 metres away from the mainland. The construction includes a multi-storied utility building and 54 independent villas. Jankars will have to be summoned for transporting men and machine to the site and removing the debris from there.

In case of the Vamika resorts, the authorities are understood to have asked for additional time of 15 days. They have suggested that the work could be assigned to the Public Works Department. The cost of demolition and removal of debris could be recovered from the owners of the project through revenue recovery, according to the district administration.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 2:41:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/demolition-of-illegal-resorts-in-vembanad-may-take-time/article5314668.ece

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