KOCHI: With the byelections slated for six constituencies in Kerala, all the major political parties have come up with support for the residents of the four apartment complexes in Maradu who were given an ultimatum by the Supreme Court for demolition of their property, citing violation of environmental norms. Some of the top political leaders and MLAs visited the residents of Jain Coral Cove, Alfa Serene, Golden Kayaloram and H2O Holy Faith apartment complexes on Friday and promised their support.
“Since it is a Supreme Court order, we have to legally consult and find a solution. We are with the residents. At the same time, we have to evaluate the court’s decision and find out an amicable solution. We have to work within the limitations of the case. However, we will try our best,” said Tripunithura MLA M Swaraj.
Accusing the officers who gave the nod for the construction of these apartment complexes in 2006, P J Joseph, working chairman of Kerala Congress (M) said, “The real culprits are the officers who sanctioned the construction of these apartments. Strict action must be taken against them. The flat owners have been fooled.”
He also said that the state government should intervene in this matter. “We will present these issues before the Opposition leader and former Chief Ministers V S Achuthanandan and Oommen Chandy,” said Joseph.BJP state secretary A K Nazeer said this issue should not be politicised. “We should not politicise such issues. The flat owners are in a grievous situation. They will lose their lifelong savings if their homes are demolished. We are ready to provide any kind of help from the Central Government. We are discussing the issue with BJP state president and Union Ministers,” he said.
Kerala Vanitha Congress also extended its support to flat owners. Lathika Subhash, president of Vanitha Congress, along with other members met the flat members to understand their situation on Friday.Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala is slated to visit the flats on Saturday to discuss the issue in detail while CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will convene a meeting at 9.30 am on the same day. Chandy and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty will pay a visit on Sunday.
The residents of these four apartment complexes will launch an indefinite strike in front of the Maradu Municipality building on Saturday morning. The protest meet will be from 9 am to 5 pm, after which they will continue their agitation on the premises of H2O apartments. In the light of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations, the Supreme Court had directed the state government to demolish these four apartment complexes by September 20.
Chennithala to visit Maradu today
T’Puram: Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala will visit Maradu and meet the flat owners on Saturday. He has also offered the Opposition’s whole-hearted support to the government in addressing the issue. Addressing mediapersons here on Friday, he urged the state and Central governments to intervene in the issue.
“The flat owners are paying the price for others’ mistakes,” he said while urging the state government to look into the legal aspects of the issue. Demolishing the flats could lead to major environmental issues, Chennithala said while adding that the DLF model solution - where fine was imposed for illegal construction - could have been adopted.
Mullappally seeks govt intervention
T’Puram: The state government should urgently intervene to ensure humanitarian approach to the Maradu flat owners, said KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran. The Congress leader said it should be ensured that environmental laws are followed without any compromise. The 375 families in the flats are being penalised for no fault of theirs. “Sending them to the streets one fine day is not humane. The government machinery has the responsibility to ensure that constructions are carried out without flouting norms,” he said.