SC backs order to demolish 59 villas on Kerala island for violating CRZ norms

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman upheld the 2013 Kerala High Court order on the villas promoted by Muthoot group and Kuwait-based Kapico group

Published: 10th January 2020 03:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th January 2020 03:07 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI/ALAPPUZHA: The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Kerala High Court order to demolish 59 villas and other constructions in Nediyanthuruthu, a small island in the backwaters of Alappuzha in Kerala.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman upheld the 2013 Kerala High Court order, which said the villas -- promoted by Muthoot group and Kuwait-based Kapico group -- were constructed violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules. The apex court also dismissed the arguments by the counsel for the resort that the villas were built by piling and the demolition would cause immense damage to the nearby residents and their properties.

The villas are constructed in the Vembanad backwaters -- a Ramsar site. The wetland is of international importance and protected by the Ramsar Convention.

In its order in 2015, the division bench of the Kerala High Court, comprising justices K M Joseph and K Harilal, said the villas were built violating the CRZ, EIA Notification-2006, Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act-2008 and Wetland Conservation and Management Rules-2010.

Nediyathuruthu is among the seven tiny islets in the Vembanad backwaters in Panavally grama panchayat in Alappuzha district. "We welcome the order of the Supreme Court. Our financial situation is grim and we will not be able to demolish the buildings," said Pradeep Koodickal, president of Panavally panchayat.

The order of the Supreme Court comes on the eve of the razing of the four high-rises in Maradu municipality in Kochi for violation of CRZ norms. The 18-floor Holy Faith H2O will be demolished at 11 am on Saturday, followed by the 16-floor Alfa Serene twin-towers lying about 110 meters across the backwaters at 11.05 am. Two other buildings will be demolished on Sunday.



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