KOCHI: The state government will consider cancelling the contracts awarded to Chennai-based Vijay Steels and Explosives, which is in charge of demolition of the twin towers of Alfa Serene — one of the four apartment complexes in Maradu that were ordered by the Supreme Court to be razed down, with immediate effect if the demolition causes any more cracks on nearby homes.
This was conveyed by Sub-Collector Snehil Kumar Singh, the officer in charge of demolition, to nearby residents after they approached him complaining about the cracks on the walls of their homes in Maradu due to the “unscientific demolition” of 16-storeyed Alfa Serene towers.
“If they (contracting firm) commit similar mistakes in the coming days, we will disqualify the company from the work,” said Singh during his visit to the nearby residences on Saturday.
He also clarified that the nearby residents will have to stay away till the end of March to complete the post-demolition cleaning work. “Though we will complete the controlled implosion by January second week, it will take at least two more months to clean up the debris and dust from the area. We will also cover up the nearby residences with geotextile fabrics,” he promised the residents.
Residents allege that Maradu municipality is not providing alternative rehabilitation as they promised and they are forced to find it on their own. “We are shifting to an apartment in Lotus Lane, Maradu. As the sub-collector has asked us to apply to the municipality for getting financial assistance for remitting our rent throughout the period, we will submit our application on Monday. But we are a bit apprehensive about the official actions,” said Harishchandrasai, a resident who lives within two metres of Alfa Serene.
They have also clarified that finalising an apartment with a moderate rent is a gruesome task. “Apartment owners we approached so far are unwilling to rent out their flats for a few months. Most of them have asked us to stay for at least 11 months by paying the advance. As the sub-collector himself has clarified that the post-demolition work will last till the end of March, we are in a dilemma over renting a house for a long time,” he added.
Even though the residents had applied to repair their homes several weeks ago, officials haven’t made any response yet.
“We had requested for repair several weeks ago, but nothing has happened yet. We feel like it will happen only after completing the implosion. The insurance scheme is also on similar lines. Despite the promise of assigning a nationalised agency, there is no clarification in the matter yet,” said Shaji K R, another resident. Meanwhile, the officials of Vijay Steels and Explosives were unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts to reach them.
So far, four homes near Alfa Serene have developed cracks since the commencement of preparatory demolition for the controlled implosion.