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Politicians rally behind Maradu flat owners

Residents to approach President, Prime Minister seeking their intervention

September 12, 2019 11:27 pm | Updated 11:29 pm IST - Kochi

Maradu flat owners protesting in front of the office of the Maradu municipality on Onam day on Wednesday.

Maradu flat owners protesting in front of the office of the Maradu municipality on Onam day on Wednesday.

Political leaders have come out in support of the owners of the Maradu flats which the Supreme Court has ordered to be razed before September 20.

Meanwhile, the apartment residents said they would approach the President and the Prime Minister seeking their intervention in the issue. They would write to all MPs from the State, MLAs, Assembly Speaker, and also the Governor seeking their intervention in the issue.

A writ petition challenging the evacuation notice served by the Maradu municipality will be filed in the Kerala High Court when the court opens after the Onam holidays, said Shamsudheen Karunagapally, a resident of Holy Faith H2O, one of the four apartments that have to be demolished.

Former Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh wondered why a ‘differential treatment’ has been meted out to the Maradu flat owners, when the apex court imposed only a penalty on the DLF builders and regularised their Chilavannur waterfront apartments in Kochi for Coastal Regulation Zone violations.

The Supreme court had also stayed the demolition of the Adarsh housing complex in Mumbai, he tweeted.

“I had ordered the demolition of the Adarsh housing complex in 2010, which was upheld by the Mumbai High Court. However, it was stayed by the Supreme Court,” he said adding different standards are being applied for the violation of the same rule.

Chennithala’s demand

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala urged the State and the Centre to adopt a humanitarian approach towards the residents of the apartments. “If the flats are to be demolished, the apartment owners shall be duly compensated and rehabilitated,” he suggested. He would visit the apartments on Saturday.

All India Congress Committee general secretary Oommen Chandy urged the Chief Minister to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the humanitarian crisis.

The government shall convince the Supreme Court about the ecological impact of the demolition and the complaint that the arguments of the residents were not considered by the court which passed the judgment.

The State shall also approach the Centre to give retrospective effect to the CRZ 2019 rules, which would save the buildings from demolition, he said.

The Left Democratic Front would take out a solidarity march to the Mardu area in support of the residents.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan would inaugurate the march.

T.J. Vinod, Deputy Mayor, Kochi Corporation, said the act of forcing the families out to the street could not be justified.

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