KOCHI: It was a day of doom and gloom for over 400 families living in five apartment complexes at Maradu after the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a review petition against its May 8 judgment to raze down the structures for violating Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules.
Residents were completely shattered when Express caught up with them. Many residents said their entire savings were invested in buying the apartments. “We are not animals. We are human beings. So we were expecting a humanitarian consideration from the apex court. We helped the government earn revenue all these years. What is the point if the court comes out with such an order? Where are we supposed to go with our kids? If the SC verdict is implemented, suicide is the only option,” said Joyson, who owns a flat in Holy Faith Apartment complex, which faces demolition.
Five apartment complexes –Holy Faith, Kayaloram, Alfa Ventures, Holiday Heritage and Jain Housing – were asked to be demolished within one month as they violated Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.The bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had stated the state could not bear the brunt of another flood caused by illegal constructions.
“The SC’s directive to demolish the apartments is based on a report submitted by the three-member committee consisting of the secretary of Maradu Municipality, the chief municipal officer and District Collector. In reality, they misled the government by submitting wrong information. If it is an illegal construction, why did they collect building tax? We already met the Chief Minister, LSGD Minister and Opposition leader in this regard and they extended their support. We hope the government takes steps to bring out the truth behind this,” said Biyoj Chennad, another flat owner of Holy Faith Apartments.
M K Gopalakrishnan, 71, another flat owner, said every court order has a time bar of five years. But in this case, all such provisions were violated. Meanwhile, the residents said they would soon file a curative petition before apex court.