KOCHI:The Maradu municipality has tasked the firms roped in to raze the controversial apartment complexes with repairing any damage that the demolition may cause to nearby houses.The move comes amidst concerns raised by nearby residents about their homes developing cracks due to the controlled implosion being carried out at the complexes.
“The firms have agreed to repair the damage caused to nearby houses. They will initiate repair works right after completing the controlled demolition. We have took videos of the damage the implosion has caused till date,” said Snehil Kumar Singh, the Fort Kochi sub-collector who is in charge of the demolition.
He said he had not received any request for rent payment from nearby residents so far. “Though we have promised support to those who wish to relocate prior to the demolition, no such request has been received. As of now, two families have shifted and we will look into their cases in the coming days,” Singh said.
The contracting firms will appoint a safety officer to submit daily reports of the demolition, he said.
“The officer will be a technically qualified person, who can supervise the entire demolition process. Till he or she takes up charge, I have stopped major demolitions of the second tower of Alfa Serene. The minor internal works will continue. I have asked the firms to ensure that no injury is caused to the labourers working on the site or the neighbours,” said Singh.He said Vijay Steels and Explosives, one of the contracting firms, violated several directives throughout the demolition.
“Vijay Steels didn’t follow our directions. We asked them to take safety measures like covering floors on which they are working and ensuring that the workers do not throw concrete waste to the ground. Spraying of water was not being done, while the metal sheet barricading was completed recently. All the safety measures have been taken now,” he said.
With nearby residents starting to shift to safer places, Singh said the municipality will help them in the same.“Following the recommendations of local self-government minister, we have decided to take care of nearby residents willing to shift. The municipality will handle their applications,” he said.
The government is in talks with IIT Madras and private agencies to carry out the ‘vibration test’ recommended by the expert committee, said Singh. “The responsibility of bearing the expense of the test is yet to be finalised. The contracting firms do not have the right to demand more money for it,” he said.