Demolition of Kochi flats to begin on Oct 11, three bidders shortlisted
In the last hearing on September 27, the Supreme Court had directed the state to demolish these flats in 138 days. The state government tried its best to avoid demolition but later fell in line after the apex court threatened to start contempt proceeding against it for not implementing its May verdict.Updated: Oct 01, 2019 19:29 IST
The demolition of four apartment complexes in Kochi which violated coastal regular zone (CRZ) guidelines will begin on October 11 and three bidders have been shortlisted for this, according to Kochi sub-collector Snehil Kumar Singh who is supervising the demolition process.
He said eviction of occupants will be completed by October 3 and contractors will be finalized by October 5. At least 15 bidders have responded and the district administration has short-listed three after verifying their experience and track record.
T H Nadira, chairperson of the Maradu municipal corporation where these flats are situated, said the civic body will call a meeting of nearby residents to alleviate their fears. Locals are agitated saying a proper environmental impact study was not done and they fear high-intensity implosions may affect nearby structures also. “We will call a meeting of residents before demolition to address their concerns. We are aware some of them are really worried,” she said.
In the last hearing on September 27, the Supreme Court had directed the state to demolish these flats in 138 days. The state government tried its best to avoid demolition but later fell in line after the apex court threatened to start contempt proceeding against it for not implementing its May verdict.
Maradu civic officials said residents will be shifted by October 3 and the demolition process will begin on October 11. The demolition will take 90 days and clearing of debris and other processes will take another 40 days. The civic body is planning to hand over buildings to the successful bidder for demolition on October 11. Left with no other choice, flat owners said they were co-operating with the state government and it will ensure their rehabilitation.
Earlier authorities had decided to carry out ‘controlled implosion’ to bring down the 10 lakh sq feet concrete structures. Experts say controlled implosion is an accepted demolition technique in which explosives will be placed on strategic spots of structures and ignite them to raze within its perimeters.
Environmental experts have allayed the fears of local residents. “After the 9/11 tragedy, we have seen how US authorities pulled down the damaged structure. We have that expertise and it is unfair to raise ecological issues now. Illegal encroachments of land and water bodies should be contained. We have to put a full stop somewhere before it slips out of our hands. That is what the Supreme Court has done in the case,” said environmental scientist Dr C M Joy.