Maradu demolition: Radhakrishnan panel to begin sitting shortly

Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court who was appointed by the Supreme Court to fix the culpability regarding the construction of the razed Maradu apartments, will summon builders and officials shortly.

The former judge has issued notices to as many as 16 persons, including government officials, builders and other statutory agencies who were involved in clearing the projects, to appear before it on May 23.

He will hold a sitting at the Conference Hall of the PWD Rest House at Park Avenue, Ernakulam, on the day.

The Supreme court had on May 2 directed Mr. Radhakrishnan to enquire about the involvement of builder/promoter/persons/officials responsible for the illegal construction of the buildings which were razed to the ground. The court had also requested Mr. Radhakrishnan to conduct the enquiry expeditiously and submit the report by the second week of July.

Notices were issued to the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary (Environment), Principal Secretary, Local Self-Government department, Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority, Kerala State Pollution Control Board and the District Magistrate/District Collector, Ernakulam.

The Secretary of Maradu Municipality, the Chief Town Planner, Thiruvananthapuram, Vigilance wing of the Local Self-Government department, and the Dy.S.P., C.B.C.I.D., Central Unit II, Thripunithura, Ernakulam, who was probing the Maradu cases, were also issued notices.

The builders whose apartment complexes were demolished, including Alfa Ventures, Holy Faith Builders and Developers, Meadow Homes, Jain Housing and Construction, and Vichus Constructions, were also served the notice. He will also hear the representatives of the owners’ associations of the demolished apartments.

The apartment complexes that were built in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone rules were razed in May 2019 after the Supreme Court rejected the plea of the builders. The owners of the apartments were paid an interim relief of ₹25 lakh each by the State government as directed by the top court. The apex court had also asked the State government to recover the amount it had paid to the apartment owners as well as the money it had shelled out to demolish the structures and remove the debris, from the builders. The Crime Branch had booked cases against the builders following the demolition of the apartment complexes.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 10:26:40 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/maradu-demolition-radhakrishnan-panel-to-begin-sitting-shortly/article65423133.ece