NGT seeks report on environmental damage caused by demolition of Maradu apartments
Pollution control mechanisms not followed during demolition and removal of debris, says petition
The South Zone Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought a report from the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) on the alleged environment damage caused by the demolition of the Maradu apartments.
It was on a petition filed by the Environmental Protection and Research Council, Thiruvananthapuram, that the Bench issued the order.
The coram of the tribunal consisting of Justice K. Ramakrishnan and K. Satyagopal asked the Board to file the report before October 4. The Board shall also ascertain whether any damage was caused to the mangrove vegetation in the area following the demolition. If caused, the Board should mention the nature of the damage caused by the demolition, the Tribunal directed.
The apartment complexes of Alfa Serene, Golden Kayaloram, H2O Holy Faith, and Jain Coral Cove were brought down last year.
The petitioner submitted that the pollution control mechanisms as mandated by the Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016 were not followed during the demolition and removal of debris of the Maradu apartments which caused huge environmental damage.
The Supreme Court, which ordered the demolition of the apartments that came up in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, did not go into the question of the environmental damage caused by the construction of the apartments. Instead, it considered the CRZ violations alone and directed the demolition under the rules, the complainant submitted.
The petitioner approached the Tribunal with the prayer that the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change or any other agency under it should restore the environment in the areas as specified by law and the cost of ecological restoration recovered from the builders of the apartment complexes. It also sought directions from the Tribunal to make the builders pay environmental compensation as assessed by a committee of experts or a percentage of the project cost so that it would act as a deterrent against environmental destruction.
The Tribunal has posted the cases for October 4.