Kerala flat demolition row heading towards flash point

Kerala flat demolition row heading towards flash point

Row over Supreme Court order to demolish five high rises in Kochi is snowballing in to a major law and order issue with the Kerala government initiating steps to disconnect electricity and other basic services to the buildings, while the 350-odd flat owners were gearing up for a strong resistance.

Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose, who received Supreme Court strictures the other day for inordinate delay in implementing the order to demolish the high rises that flout CRZ norms, apprised the state Cabinet on Wednesday that steps to demolish the high rises need to be taken.

He was also learnt to have informed that many other high rises that flouted CRZ norms may also face a similar fate.

The Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority had recently pointed out that there were 66 high rises across Kerala that violated CRZ norms.

The Kerala State Electricity Board on Wednesday affixed notices at the high rises informing that power supply would be disconnected in 24 hours.

The Kerala Water Authority and cooking gas providers were also directed by government to stop supply to these buildings by Friday. Sub Collector Snehil Kumar Singh was appointed as special officer to initiate steps to implement the Supreme Court order. The flat residents are adamant that they would not move out of the flats.

.The government is also learnt to have prepared a plan for demolition of the structures. It would require at least six months to fully demolish the high rises, government sources said.