Supreme Court Orders Demolition of Apartment in Ernakulam for Violating CRZ Rules

Reported by

Nazimuddin SiddiqueLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

August 5, 2021

Location of Conflict

Kochi

Ernakulam

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Township/Real Estate

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1714

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

7

ha

Starting Year

2019

State

Kerala

Sector

Infrastructure

Following a Supreme Court order on September 6, 2019, to demolish the Maradu apartment complex in Kochi in Ernakulam district for violating coastal norms, a technical committee handed over the demolition task to two firmsEdifice Engineering and Vijay Steels. Demolition work started on October 14, and the state government plans to complete it by January 20, 2020. The apex court issued the demolition order after a threemember committee, which was appointed by it earlier, noted that the area was already notified as a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and construction was prohibited when the apartment was being built. The court ruled that the entire apartment complex was built illegally, violating the CRZ norms. The Maradu complex has 400 flats in five buildings, with at least 357 families as occupants. The residents have been left in a lurch as the Supreme Court had rejected a plea filed by them against the demolition order. The flat owners had earlier refused to vacate as the demolition would render them homeless. They staged sitin protests and hunger strikes. Various political parties, including the Congress, the Muslim League and the Communist Party of India Marxist, have come out in support of the residents, taking a united stand against the decision of the apex court. But now as the demolition has begun, the families have vacated. The court has directed the state to pay each family an interim compensation of INR 25 lakhs. It has also directed the freezing of assets of the builders, namely Alfa Serene, Holy Faith Builders and Developers Private Limited and Jain Coral Cove, who have washed their hands off the matter. In a letter to the Maradu municipal authorities, the builders wrote that they had paid all their taxes and were no longer responsible for any situation unfolding at the complex. The apartment complex comes under CRZ III as per CRZ Notification, 1991, and the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Plan, 1996. As per the notification, in a CRZ III zone, construction of any kind is prohibited within 200 metres of the coastal border. The apex court has noted that the building can cause destruction in the area in the event of a natural disaster. In August 2020, the last of four buildings from Maradu town was razed to ground deploying explosives. However, nearby residents have complained about the destruction caused to their houses due to demolition and are awaiting promised repair work.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project, Opposition against environmental degradation

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

Yes

When did it end?

August 2020

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Supreme Court of India

Case Number

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 4784-4785 OF 2019

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Supreme Court of India, Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Edifice Engineering, Vijay Steels

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Communist Party of India - Marxist, Muslim League

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
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Documented By

Nazimuddin Siddique

Reviewed By

Nazimuddin Siddique

Updated By

Nazimuddin Siddique

Edited By

Nazimuddin SiddiqueLand Conflict Watch
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