Two flat complexes - Holy Faith and Alfa Serene - at Maradu in Kochi are to come down by Saturday afternoon and the remaining two - Jain Coral Cove and Golden Kayaloram - on Sunday on the orders of the Supreme Court. The flat complexes violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
Preparations are in full swing and people in the vicinity have already been evacuated. The authorities have imposed Section 144 in a 200-metre radius so that people do not gather in groups.
The first blast will begin at 11 am. According to officials, the whole blast process using emulsion explosives and non-electrical detonators will not take more than 10 seconds. There will be sirens prior to the blast. The wind conditions in the area have been gauged to understand the settling of the dust.
They said all precautionary measures have been taken to ensure that no dust or fly off materials will land in the areas nearby. The authorities have also drones in place to record the blast.
The Supreme Court order came as a major move to protect the environment after it was found that the flat complexes were built flouting environmental norms.
There were charges that norms were violated by the local body authorities of Maradu municipality under political pressure to let the builders go ahead with the construction. However, the apex court bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, was firm in its stand and did not entertain the pleas of the residents against demolition of the flats. Even the State Government kept kowtowing in the matter and the Supreme Court had to warn the State Chief Secretary of stern action if the orders were not implemented.
The verdict will have far-reaching consequences nationally as it gave a clear message that environmental protection was of prime importance.
Incidentally, it was on Friday that the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of Kapico Resorts built close to the Ramsar site of Vembanad Lake in Alappuzha. This too had flouted CRZ norms and the resort came up on a no-development zone.