Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Plea for Flat Demolition Stay Even as Residents Start Moving Out

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea from owners of the 343 flats seeking a stay on the demolition that has been ordered by the apex court of four apartment complexes in Kochi’s Maradu which were built in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms .
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S Ravindra Bhat dismissed the petition of flat owners, who have also challenged the legality of a panel which had recommended demolition of the four apartment complexes.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government on Sunday began the process for evicting residents of the apartment complexes. Officials visited the owners to help them relocate. This comes after days of the residents holding out and the local authorities cutting water and power supplies. But on Sunday, they ended their protest and expressed their willingness to vacate their homes before October 3 by when the evacuation process will be completed. An official said the process would be completed in a peaceful manner and the civic body officials would explain to the residents that the Supreme Court order has to be implemented and offer help in their rehabilitation.
After their meeting with the District Collector S Suhas, the representatives of the residents said the authorities had assured them of all possible help within their limitations in the process of vacating their flats and finding new homes.
The residents had also raised demands, including more time to vacate and that the government bear the rent for the alternative accommodation.
The Supreme Court on Friday had directed demolition of the apartment complexes within 138 days, a timeline given by the Kerala government, and asked the state to pay Rs 25 lakh interim compensation to each flat owner within four weeks.
“This discussion is only for telling them (that) time is over. You have to start vacating. They have to follow the Supreme Court order. We have to follow the Supreme Court order. There is no question about it,” Singh told reporters here in the morning.
He said the officials visiting the apartment complexes will find out the requirements of the residents.
“We are not trying to evacuate them forcefully. They are our fellow citizens. We have to treat them with respect,” the official said, responding to queries on the eviction process.

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