Kochi Building Demotion Case: No Other Option But to Follow SC Order, Says State Minister
The top court had directed that four buildings constructed at Kochi's Maradu be brought down as they were constructed in a notified CRZ area, which was part of the tidally influenced water body in Kerala.
Kochi: As the Supreme Court on Monday flayed the Kerala government for not complying with its orders to demolish four apartment complexes constructed at Kochi's Maradu violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, minister AC Moideen said the state was bound by the apex court order and follow the law.
On May 8, the top court had directed that four buildings be removed within a month as they were constructed in a notified CRZ area, which was part of the tidally influenced water body in Kerala.
Moideen, the Local Self Government minister, said the state government has its limitations in the matter. "The only option is to follow the law. We can find a solution only through the courts. The government has its limitations in this matter. The state government is bound to implement the Supreme Court order. We cannot take a stand against the apex court order. We will try to understand what the top court is saying in this final order and act accordingly," Moideen told the media.
The top court said it was shocked to know about illegal structures coming up in coastal zone areas and said the chief secretary should conduct a survey to gauge the extent of devastation caused to nature.
Chief Secretary Tom Jose, who was in Delhi to appear before the top court, told reporters that there was a constitutional duty to follow the Supreme Court order. "We are bound by the Supreme Court's order. It's our constitutional duty to follow the order," Jose told reporters after the apex court hearing.
Some representatives of the residents association, said they still have hope that the apex court will consider their plight. "We came to know that the final order will be out only on Friday. Our representatives are there in Delhi. We still have hope. Some of our petitions are still pending in the court. We are innocent," a representative of the residents told media.
State Minister MM Mani said the court could have insisted on fixing responsibility on the builders to provide compensation. "It's not easy to demolish the building. There are hundreds of families staying there. While demolishing, we will have to deal with environmental issues..." Mani said.
Meanwhile, Jain Construction, builder of the Maradu flats, said the rehabilitation plan will be decided soon after its board meeting. "We will have to wait for the final order. Then only we will be able to chart a course of action... On Friday, we will discuss the matter further," a company official told a TV channel.
A bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, on Monday said it will pass a detailed order on Friday.
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