Days after the Supreme Court rapped Kerala government over illegal constructions in high-tide areas and not following its orders on demolition of four buildings in Ernakulam in Kochi, the state police today initiated criminal proceeding against the builders of three of the four huge residential apartment complexes in a lakeside locality. The state government has also cut off water and power supply in the four buildings.
The first information reports against builders of H2O Holy Faith, Jain Coral Coves, Alpha Serene have been filed based on the complaints of the residents, said police. Several bank accounts of the builders have been frozen, according to sources.
Electricity and water supply to around 343 residential units in all the four buildings were also cut off this morning in an apparent attempt to vacate the buildings. However, residents have been putting a strong resistance on the ground saying they are being punished for no fault of theirs. "Let them take away all connection, we won't vacate our flats. What mistake have we done?," a resident asked.
On September 6, the top court had ordered demolition of four apartment complexes in Maradu near the backwaters of Ernakulam for violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone rules. The top court is set to deliver another detailed order on Friday after it criticized the state government for not implementing the demolition orders on Monday.
The state government is set to file a fresh affidavit before the court to elaborate the steps it has taken to implement the order of Supreme Court regarding the demolition of the four buildings.
According to the Supreme Court order, the four buildings are in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules and need to be demolished.
However, according to a 2019 notification by Environment Ministry, the area is "no longer is under CRZ I & III", which restricts construction 50 metres from the water body. Instead, according to the existing notification, the buildings are under CRZII, which does not have restrictions on the construction.
The top court, however, has said the builders had violated the rules when they constructed the buildings.