Kochi flats utilities disconnected

Kochi flats utilities disconnected

Residents allege human rights

Residents of various flats at Maradu, which have been ordered to be demolished by the Supreme Court, stage a protest in front of Holy Faith apartment, in Kochi, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. The Supreme Court had on Sept. 6 ordered the demolition of illegal flats in Kochi's Maradu Panchayat by Sept. 20 for violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules. (PTI Photo)

Pressure is mounting on the 350-odd families residing at the water-front apartments at Maradu in Kochi that face demolition, after power supply and water connections to the apartments were disconnected during the wee hours of Thursday.

The Kerala government was also learnt to have prepared an action plan for demolition of the five high-rises that flouted CRZ norms. As per the plan, apartment residents would be evicted from Sunday. The government is also making temporary residential facilities for the residents.

The Kerala government's swift actions came after the SC's strictures on Monday, about the inordinate delay in executing the demolition order. The SC is scheduled to issue a further order in this regard on Friday.

Of the five apartments that face demolition orders, power connection to four were disconnected: Golden Kayaloram, H2O Holy Faith, Alfa Severe, and Jain's Coaral Cave.

Holiday Heritage, the other apartment was not yet occupied by residents. Kerala Water Authority's water connection to three of the apartments was also disconnected.

The 350-odd families residing at the four apartments woke up at 3 am by to find the power supply disconnected under tight police security to avoid resistance from flat owners.

The residents have strongly condemned the action alleging, that it was a violation of basic human rights. The families also lit lanterns at evening as a mark of protest.

Meanwhile, the apartments are using generators and water tankers to meet their utility requirements. 

Crime Branch probe

The Crime Branch of the Kerala Police will be probing the case registered against three builders on the basis of petitions filed by the flat owners and residents. The Kochi city police registered the case by invoking section 406 of IPC for criminal breach of trust and section 420 for cheating against builders of three apartments - H2O Holy Faith, Alpha Serene and Jain Coral Cove.

They were yet to receive any complaint against Golden Kayaloram and Holiday Heritage. The Crime Branch would also probe the involvement of government officials in the case. 

Over 1,500 violations

With the Supreme Court expressing serious concerns over the massive CRZ norm violation across Kerala, the Kerala government was learnt to have prepared a list of over 1,500 major and minor CRZ norm violations, including many that were regularised by the government and many caught up in court cases.

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