Maradu flats: Deadline for vacating flats relaxed till Friday
Kochi, Oct 3: Several of the residents struggled to shift their household articles from their flats in four illegal apartment complexes as the deadline drew to a close at 5 PM on Thursday, prompting authorities to grant some relaxation.
The Maradu municipal and revenue authorities entrusted with carrying out eviction of the residents decided not to disconnect the power and water supply linesto the waterfront flats, facing demolition for violation of Coastal Regulation Zone norms, immediately in order to facilitate their smooth relocation. Officials had said on Wednesday the power and water supply to the apartment complexes, temporarily restored two days ago for facilitating the smooth relocation of the residents, would be disconnected automatically on Thursday.
The authorities on Thursday indicated the time granted for vacating the flats was unlikely to beextended beyond Friday morning. Flat owners said the time fixed by the authorities for vacating the houses was insufficient.
Many NRIs, who own flats in the apartment complexes, could not come back from the foreign countries so far. Their flats were still remain locked and their household articles yet to be shifted, a representative of the flat owners said, as he sought a humanitarian consideration towards them. We appeal you to treat us like humans. We are not encroachers, a flat owner said. We are not staging any protest here. We are asking some more time from the authorities, he said. Meanwhile, Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas on Thursday night visited the flats and took stock of the situation.
Authorities have said they were going ahead as per the 138-day action plan approved by the Supreme Court for demolishing the buildings. Residents had on Wednesday said at least 10 more days were required for the relocation from their flats. Meanwhile, the government has sanctioned an amount of Rs one crore to Maradu Municipality to complete the process of evacuation and rehabilitation of the residents.
The authorities commenced the eviction process on Sunday by visiting the owners to help them relocate. The 343 waterfront flats built in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone norms are located in Maradu municipality here. Last week, the Supreme Court had directed demolition of the apartment complexes within 138 days, a time-line given by the Kerala government, and asked the state to pay Rs 25 lakh interim compensation to each flat owner within four weeks.