The homeowners of Maradu flats in Kochi have finally reached the decision of vacating their illegal apartments. This decision comes after a meeting with the district administration. The flat owners had earlier requested the Government to pay their rent. The request is still under consideration. The local MLA will reportedly communicate the flat owners' decision to the Kerala Government. The Government, on the other hand, has agreed to pay the transportation costs incurred by the flat owners while relocating to the new apartment.
The Kerala government on September 28, had alerted the residents of four illegal apartment complexes about the Supreme Court's decision to demolish the properties. The top court had passed an order, following which the residents were informed of the demolition of the apartments and that it would commence soon. The State Government is touted to pay Rs 25 lakh interim compensation to each flat owner within four weeks as per the order of the Supreme Court. The banks have also been cued to freeze the assets of builders and promoters who were involved in the construction of illegal buildings in the coastal zone area. The Kerala Government has begun the process of evacuation on Sunday, September 29, with the officials visiting the homeowners to ensure everything was underway in a peaceful manner. The homeowners had initially protested earlier demanding more time to be able to evacuate.
The Supreme Court on Friday, September 27, took the state government's counsel to issue a notice of demolition and the timeline was subsequently worked out following that; thereby allowing the top court to order the demolition of the complexes within a period of 138 days. The goal of the state is to evacuate people safely and the process will happen peacefully without the use of force. The officials in a statement declared that no one was trying to evacuate the residents forcefully. The water and electricity connections have already been disconnected since last week. The SC has declared October 3 to be the last day for vacating the apartments. Earlier, the residents had filed a plea against the order of demolition. However, the court had rejected the plea.