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Kochi flats demolition case: SC orders compensation of Rs 25 lakhs to each flat owner

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Chennai, Sep 27: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered compensation of Rs 25 lakhs to each flat owner to be paid within 4 weeks time in connection with Kochi Maradu flats demolition case. The apex Court also fixed the matter for further hearing on October 25.

The top court had earlier asked the state government to file a compliance report before it by September 20 failing which the Chief Secretary will have to be present before it on September 23.

Kochi flats demolition case: SC orders compensation of Rs 25 lakhs to each flat owner

In his affidavit, the Chief secretary said tenders have been floated for controlled implosion of the buildings and 15 specialised agencies had applied for the work as on September 16.

The affidavit said that after receiving the September 6 order of the apex court, the secretary of Maradu Municipality was directed to take urgent action to "evacuate the inhabitants in the buildings mentioned in the order and rehabilitate them in coordination with the district collector, Ernakulam and invite short tender immediately to select a suitable agency for the safe and secure demolition of the buildings".

Giving details of the number of flats and the demography of the area, the affidavit said, "There are 343 flats in the four multi-storeyed apartment buildings covering an area of 68,028.71 square meters. The municipality has an area of 12.35 sq km and is densely populated with a population of 3,619 sq km. Two national highways namely NH-47 and NH-47(A) pass-through this area".

The top court had in July dismissed a plea filed by the realtors, seeking a review of its May 8 order.

On May 8, 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.

Earlier, the court had rejected a plea filed by the residents of the area against the demolition order and taken a strong exception to an order passed by a vacation bench during the summer break of the apex court, which had stayed the demolition of these buildings for six weeks.

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