All five apartments in Kerala razed as per SC order

Golden Kayaloram. (DH Photo)

With two more apartments in Kochi being safely razed on Sunday, the Kerala government has fully implemented the Supreme Court directive to demolish five water-front high-rises for flouting CRZ norms.

Jain's Coral Cove and Golden Kayaloram were the two apartments, both 17-storey, razed on Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2.30 pm respectively. Three high-rises, H2O Holy Faith and twin-towers of Alfa Serene, were razed on Saturday. The SC ordered in May 2019 to demolish the structures and also set a deadline of January as per state government's request.

All the five apartments situated at Marad municipal limits on the outskirts of Kochi city were razed through controlled implosion using emulsion explosives, detonation fuses and non-electric delay detonators.

The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, as well as Edifice Engineering and Vijay Steels and Explosives that were entrusted with the demolition work, termed it as a perfect implosion as planned.


Golden Kayaloram before demolition. (DH Photo)

"Kerala has set a referral standard for razing high-rises situated in populated areas," said PESO deputy chief controller of explosives Dr R Venugopal.

The risk involved in razing Golden Kayaloram was the presence of an Anganwadi building just four metres from the apartment. Hence the building was brought down to two portions by slightly tilting the front portion towards one side and the rear portion to the other side. Only the compound wall of the Anganwadi and a window glass suffered visible damages and there were no structural damages to the building, Uttkarsh Mehta, partner of Edifice Engineering said.

Local people were quite apprehensive over damages to be caused by razing the high-rises. But as the mission was completed with only minimum damage, the officials involved in it and the demolition firms were showered with praises by the local people. Many local people who thronged to witness the demolitions turned emotional as the residences were reduced to rubble.

DEBRIS TO BE REUSED

While the demolition firms Edifice Engineering and Vijay Steels would be taking the steel from the debris, a local firm won the bid to take the remaining debris of concrete blocks for Rs. 35 lakh. It will be reused for construction activities like road making and landfilling by cutting to blocks and crushing.

The demolition cost of the five high-rises was around Rs. 2.35 crore. Around Rs. 80 crore was required for paying compensation to the flat owners. The court had ordered that the entire amount should be recovered from the builders. 

Already criminal cases were initiated against the builders and government officials who gave sanction to the constructions in 2006 flouting the distance limit of 200 metres from the coastline in panchayat areas.

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