The Supreme Court has refused to extend the deadline for demolishing five illegally built apartments in Maradu in Kochi violating Coastal Regulation Zone rules.
On a plea of flat owners for extending the deadline till alternative facilities were made, the court decried the tendency in the legal system to pardon those violating environment laws. It advised flat owners to approach appropriate authorities for compensation.
It was on May 8 that the Supreme Court ordered demolishment of apartments of Holy Faith, Alfa Ventures, Golden Kayaloram, Jains Coral Cove and Holiday Heritage built at Maradu violating CRZ rules. The five buildings had violated the CRZ notification and the state’s Coastal Zone Management Plan. They also had not sought permission from the state body that implements the CRZ notification along Kerala’s coastline.
The May 8 verdict had also referred to the August 2018 devastating floods which “had taken place due to such unbridled construction activities”.The apartment complexes are on the shores of backwaters that “support exceptionally large biological diversity and constitute one of the largest wetlands in India”, it pointed out.
It said the buildings should not have been constructed in CRZ-III, a zone that includes relatively undisturbed areas where no construction is allowed unless specific prior permission is granted. They are close to the mangroves.
Earlier, Kerala High Court had ruled in favour of flat owners which were challenged by the Coastal Regulation Authority in the apex court.