Maradu flat owners agree to vacate, Govt firm on action

Maradu flat owners agree to vacate, Govt firm on action


Flat owners of the apartment complexes at Maradu in Kochi those are to be brought down on orders from the Supreme Court have agreed to vacate. This followed discussions with the District Collector and other officials on Sunday as the procedure to evict the dwellers of  three apartment complexes began.

The flat owners had earlier said they needed time to vacate which the authorities refused. However, talks were held and the owners wanted the authorities to pay them Rs 1 lakh to pay advance for their new residence. They have been promised Rs 25 lakh each as interim compensation which would be later assessed by an apex court-appointed committee. Former Kerala High Court Justice Balakrishnan Nair will head the team to oversee compensation matters.

They also demanded restoration of power supply. The officials said they would take up the matter with the authorities concerned immediately.

Sub-Collector Snehil Kumar, who was present at the site for the eviction process said none would be sent out using force. He promised to look into their request for restoring power supply and other necessary services like lifts. They also wanted the authorities to make an assessment of the value of materials which were to be shifted from the flats.

It was made clear that there would be no extension of the October 3 deadline to vacate. The owners who began an indefinite fast withdrew it later after the assurances given by officials.

Separately, the Supreme Court on Saturday ordered seizure of the assets of the builders and their bank accounts were frozen. It said that the compensation should be realised from the builders and those guilty of helping them build the flats violating Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) norms. The Government should pay Rs 25 lakh initially to each of the owners and collect the compensation amount duly assessed from the builders.

Justices Arun Mishra and S Ravindra Bhat, ordered attachment of the properties and assets of Paul Raj, director of Alfa Ventures Pvt Ltd,  Sany Francis, managing director of Holy Faith Builders and Developers, Sandeep Malik, managing director of Jain Housing and Construction Ltd, and KV Jose, managing director of KP Varkey and Builders.

They also said the flats should be demolished in 138 days.