KOCHI: Even six months after the demolition of Maradu flats, the nearby residents who were affected during the process are waiting for the promised repair work. Amid Covid fears, these families are living under leaking roofs.Though the Maradu municipality had earlier assured special financial assistance and insurance coverage along with repair by the contractors, residents point out that nothing has materialised yet.
“We have been cheated on multiple occasions. Other than mere lip service, municipality officials have no interest in finding a solution. Apart from a few meetings with the officials, nothing has been done for claiming the promised insurance coverage,” said M Sugunanandan, a nearby resident whose home got damaged during the demolition. With the monsoon getting stronger in the area, the damaged roofs have started leaking again. “As we returned to our homes after believing the officials’ words of immediate repair, we didn’t have any option but to stay back during the monsoon. Rainwater seeps into our bedroom through the cracks developed on the roof. As the demolition is over, no one is bothered about addressing our plight,” he said.
When contacted, Boban Nedumparambil, vice chairman of Maradu municipality, clarified that the civic body has already taken the decision to fast track repair work. “The municipal council has taken a decision on the matter and the insurance coverage. As we are stuck in Covid-19 surveillance, the process got delayed,” he said.Meanwhile, fishermen from the area have alleged that the officials are yet to remove the debris that fell into the backwaters.
“A major portion of the second tower of Alfa Serene is still underwater. We have lost around Rs 20,000 as our fishing nets got entangled in the protruding iron rods in the debris. The district administration should immediately intervene in the matter,” said an office-bearer of Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi.Prompt Enterprises, the agency which removed the processed concrete rubble, clarified that it has no role in removing the debris from the backwaters. “We completed our work by the last week of May. The segregated concrete waste was shifted to nearby districts. Our job was limited to shifting the concrete waste from the worksite. It was Vijay Steels that was supposed to shift the debris which is still left under the water,” said Achyuth Joseph, partner, Prompt Enterprises.
Despite repeated attempts, representatives of Vijay Steels and Explosives which demolished the twin towers of Alfa Serene, were unavailable for comment. Four apartment complexes namely Golden Kayaloram, Jains Coral Cove, Holy Faith H2O and Alfa Serene twin towers were razed down as per SC order in January 2020 after it found that the constructions had violated CRZ rules.