Hundreds of buildings face demolition threat in Kerala

Hundreds of buildings face demolition threat in Kerala

Maradu flat demolition. (DH Photo)

As five luxury apartments in Kerala are being demolished for CRZ violations after nearly 15 years of legal battle, hundreds of buildings in Kerala that face charges of CRZ violations are fearing a similar fate in the due course.

The SC ordered the demolition of a luxury resort at Alappuzha in South Kerala on Thursday. The Kerala Local Self Government department had informed the Kerala High Court last year that 625 buildings on the banks of Vembanad lake, a Ramsar site, need to be demolished for CRZ violations. Many high-rises close to those being demolished in Kochi faced an allegation of CRZ norms.

The SC order to demolish the five high-rises was the culmination of objections raised by the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority in 2007 against the decision to grant the permit to the high-rises in 2006. Even then, the builders managed to construct apartments and sell them off, aided by court stays and provisional permits issued by the local bodies.

The SC ordered the demolition after a committee appointed by the court found that though the areas were now under CRZ II and the buildings were not a violation as per the CRZ II norms, the areas were under CRZ III while sanctions were given in 2006. Hence no construction should have been allowed within 200 metres of the coastal line at that time.

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