Unscientific demolition: Maradu residents live in fear

Residents dejected by the attitude of officials despite raising concerns over development of cracks on the walls of their homes

Published: 28th November 2019 06:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2019 06:59 AM   |  A+A-

Ajith Kaniyampillil, a resident who lives close to Alfa Serene, one of the buildings being demolished, pointing out the cracks on his house wall | Express

Express News Service

KOCHI: Ever since the preparatory works for the controlled implosion of Maradu highrises started, every day has become a nightmare for nearby residents. Despite raising concerns over development of cracks on the walls of their homes, the residents are dejected by the attitude of officials who are monitoring the demolition process.“Our mornings these days start with the deafening noise of drilling. All of us are suffering from breathing issues. After the concrete pieces fell into our compound last week, we can’t even sleep peacefully. We are scared to let our grandchildren play in the compound,” said Harshamma Ramakrishnan, who lives right next to the Alfa Serene twin towers. 

So far, walls of four houses situated within two metres of the towers have developed cracks. The residents are concerned after more houses are being added to the list on a daily basis. “I felt the tremors during the demolition of the structure near the swimming pool. We were sitting in the verandah and our chairs were shaking. Many cracks were found while videographing the houses for insurance purpose. I refurbished the house only six months ago for my daughter’s marriage,” said Sreedevi Karott, another nearby resident. 

With the excessive dust and noise in the area, residents suffering from ailments complain about the unscientific methods being used by the contractor. They say the contractor has not bothered about taking protective measures.“I am a heart patient and underwent angioplasty six months ago. Life has become miserable ever since the demolition work started. They covered the area of work with sheets only after we raised concerns. There is no effort to spray water during the demolition,” said Ajith Kaniyampilli, another resident whose house has developed several cracks. 

Residents-contractor tiff
A minor verbal spat took place between residents and the contractor in front of Alfa Serene on Wednesday evening. As the contracting firm filed a complaint against the nearby residents at Maradu police station for interrupting the demolition, Maradu municipality chairperson T H Nadeera and other office-bearers reached the location.  “They are arrogantly ignoring our demands. Until they follow the official directions, we will raise our concerns,” said Boban Nedumparambil, vice-chairman, Maradu municipality. 

MLA M Swaraj criticises sub-collector for not heeding to residents’ pleas
Coming down heavily on Fort Kochi Sub-Collector Snehil Kumar Singh, Tripunithura MLA M Swaraj has demanded to stop the demolition works at Alfa Serene until the officials implement the promises given by the state government. He was speaking at the protest meeting organised by the residents of nearby high-rises in Nettoor on Wednesday. “It is the nearby residents who are falling prey to the violations of builders. They are fighting to protect the savings of their lifetime.

The demolition works are being conducted in an unscientific manner. But the sub-collector’s actions are exactly opposite to the decisions taken by the state government. He is not even ready to implement the decisions taken in a meeting convened by LSGD minister two weeks ago. If the contractors are not ensuring safety measures, the residents should resist the attempts of demolition,” he said.  During the two-hour meeting, the MLA clarified the doubts raised by nearby residents. As many as 112 residents within a 200-m radius of Alfa Serene attended the meeting. Swaraj assured to take up the matter with the chief minister to ensure an immediate decision in the issue.

Former Maradu panchayat secy granted bail

Kochi: The Muvattupuzha Vigilance Court on Wednesday granted bail to former Maradu panchayat secretary who was arrested by the Crime Branch in the apartment-related cases. It was Muhammad Ashraf who was granted bail in two cases related to Jains Coral Cove and Alfa Serene apartments. However, he will still remain in judicial custody in two more cases registered against him. While serving as the panchayat secretary, permission was granted for illegal constructions. Ashraf has been behind bars for the past 44 days. Another panchayat official Jairam Naik is currently in the Crime Branch custody as part of the probe. He had surrendered before the court after his anticipatory bail plea was dismissed by the court.


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