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Within Seconds: 2 illegal Maradu flats brought down by controlled implosion

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Kochi, Jan 11: Within seconds, two of the four apartment complexes in Maradu in Kerala's Kochi, came tumbling down after the explosion on Saturday. The demolition was conducted, complying with the orders of the Supreme Court which held the structures to be illegal as they had been built in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms.

Kochi's H2O Holy Faith and Alfa Serene, spread in at least 800,000 square feet were demolished in one of the largest demolition drives in the country involving residential buildings.

A view of Holy Faith H20, a water-front complex, being demolished using controlled implosion at Maradu in Kochi

While the first illegal water-front complex, known as "Holy Faith H20, was demolished at 11.18 am, the twin towers of Alfa Serene apartment were demolished just minutes later. Both the structures came crashing down in seconds, in a cloud of dust. Thousands of people watched the demolition from outside the demolition zone.

Jain Coral Cove and Golden Kayaloram are set to be demolished tomorrow.

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    Over 350 flats in the coastal city - that housed 240 families - will be razed today and tomorrow.

    People living in the neighbourhood were evacuated as a precautionary measure on the two days and ban orders under Section 144 of the CrPC imposed in the evacuation zone from 8 am to 4 pm to prevent movement of the public within a 200-metre radius.

    A total of 343 waterfront flats were built in the complexes, violating the Coastal Regulation Zone norms.

    The Supreme Court had in September 2019 directed demolition of the apartment complexes within 138 days, a timeline was given by the Kerala government.

    All traffic airborne, waterborne and land-based are prohibited in the evacuation zone.

    Maradu flats: Deadline for vacating flats relaxed till Friday

    On May 8 last year, the apex court had directed that these buildings be removed within a month as they were constructed in a notified CRZ, which was part of the tidally-influenced water body in Kerala.

    The court had passed the order after taking note of a report of a three-member committee, which said when the buildings were built, the area was already notified as a CRZ and construction was prohibited.

    Though the residents staged protests for several days refusing to vacate, later they relented. The court has ordered an interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the owners of the flats.

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