In the final round of controlled demolition of four illegal water-front structures in Kerala's Kochi, two more apartment complexes were razed to the ground today. The demolition of over 350 flats in four buildings in Maradu- one of the largest demolition drives in India involving residential complexes - began on Saturday; four months after the Supreme Court ruled that the high-rises will be brought down for violating environmental rules.
The dramatic demolition of Jain Coral Cove, the largest of the four illegal lakeside apartments in Kochi's Maradu, was caught on camera this morning. As the explosives set off soon after the last warning siren around 11 am, the building - surrounded by backwaters at all sides - came crashing down in three parts separated by fraction of seconds, and debris falling largely within the boundary lines.
The posh apartment complex with nearly 100 flats was brought down with minimal damage, officials said, adding that the area was relatively lesser populated than the localities where the exercise was conducted yesterday.
#WATCH Maradu flats demolition: Jain Coral Cove complex demolished through a controlled implosion.2 out of the 4 illegal apartment towers were demolished yesterday, today is the final round of the operation. #Kochi#Keralapic.twitter.com/mebmdIm1Oa— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2020
The fourth apartment complex - Golden Kayaloram - was demolished at around 2 pm.
On Saturday, two of the four high-rises - 19-floor H2O Holy Faith complex of 90 flats and Alfa Serene complex with 73 flats - were reduced to rubble in controlled implosions within minutes. Hundreds had gathered on nearby terraces and roads to watch the unprecedented exercise even as sirens went off, warning them to remain at safe distance. An area of around 200 metre radius around the apartments was cordoned off as a part of safety measures.
In videos that captured Saturday's demolition, a thick grey cloud of dust and debris cascaded down after explosives were detonated. "No harm to any human life or animal life has taken place and no perceptible damage to any property has taken place," Kochi city police commissioner Vijay Sakhare said after visiting the sites along with Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas.
Massive arrangements were made ahead of the two-day demolition drive. More than 2,000 residents in the nearby areas have been evacuated and large gatherings are banned in the evacuation zone of all the water front apartment complexes. All traffic - air-borne, water-borne and on land - was prohibited in the evacuation zone.
In September last year, the Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of the four buildings in Maradu for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone rules. The top court gave 138 days for the demolition, a timeline set by the Kerala government.
The court also had ordered payment of a compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to those who lost their homes.
Situated in a comparatively less populated area, unlike the other two demolitions witnessed yesterday, officials say, the damage was minimal, and debris fallen off the boundary and within will be collected by an agency hired.
Jain Coral Cove is the largest residential complex of the four set to be demolished, but is located in a comparatively less densely populated area. The fourth building to go down, later today at 2pm, is located in a densely populated area , like the Alfa complex seen during demolitions on Saturday.