KOCHI: Tension prevailed at Maradu on Monday as the state made a decisive move to demolish the five apartment complexes and the 450-odd families tried to oppose it, with the protest showing early signs of becoming a movement.
The Supreme Court had ordered to demolish the apartments in the Maradu municipality for violating Coastal Regulation Zone norms. The SC has also asked the state chief secretary to submit a report on September 20 and appear in person three days later with a detailed report on the progress made to execute the order.
After chairing a review meeting, Chief Secretary Tom Jose and Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas visited the area where the apartments are situated to assess the action taken so far to implement the apex court verdict. The protesters shouted “go back” and tried to block the official’s way, but the police intervened.
Tom Jose, however, made it clear that the government has initiated steps to demolish the apartments. “It’s a Supreme Court order and the state government has to implement it. And we’ll implement it,” said Tom Jose.
The Maradu municipality, meanwhile, has decided to convene an immediate council meeting on Tuesday following the review meeting chaired by the chief secretary.
“We can’t divulge the official decision taken on the matter during the review meeting. But we’ve decided to convene a special council meeting to discuss the decision taken in the review meeting. The municipality will comply with the legal proceedings,” said Maradu municipality vice-chairperson Boban Nedumparambil.
The municipality also convened a steering committee meeting on Monday to discuss the order served by the deputy secretary to evict residents from the apartments.
“The council has to go by the Supreme Court order. We’re awaiting the outcome of the curative petition filed by the residents,” he added.