KCZMA goes ahead with demolition plan

Written By Anoop Sai Bandi | Updated: May 14, 2019 17:47 IST
KCZMA goes ahead with demolition plan

The Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) may approach the Environment Department for implementing the Supreme Court verdict on demolition of five apartments in Maradu.

The order passed by Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Navin Sinha on May 8 was made available in the public domain five days later, on Monday.
The Principal Secretary of the department shall delegate the authority to implement the order to the District Collector concerned. In this case, the Ernakulam District Collector shall be the implementing authority.
The Collector should prepare an Environment Management Plan (EMP) for demolition within a time-frame.
Also, a plan should be prepared for disposing of the waste generated following the demolition.
The modus operandi shall also be given out in detail. Details of preparations for implementing the court order shall be submitted before the apex court, KCZMA sources said.
The Collector shall also serve adequate notices on the occupants of the building to clear the premises. He shall also publicise the demolition plan for alerting people in the neighbourhood, sources said.
The court took “judicial notice of the recent devastation in Kerala which had taken place due to such unbridled construction activities resulting in colossal loss on human life and property,” while passing the order.
The court noted that the “construction activities of respondent builders are on the shores of the backwaters in Ernakulam” which “support exceptionally large biological diversity and constitute one of the largest wetlands in Kerala.”
The “construction activities in these areas would have devastating effects on the natural water flow that may ultimately result in severe natural calamities.”
The “Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) was prepared to check these types of activities and construction activities in all types of notified areas. The High Court ignored the significance of the approved CZMP,” it said.
In the case of a resort at Nediyathuruthu in Vembanad Lake, which was asked to demolish the portions that were built in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone rules, sources pointed out that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had constituted an expert committee to prepare the EMP. The demolition was carried out as suggested by the committee, sources said.
In the case of Maradu apartments, it is to be seen whether the authorities would be able to implement the order within one month as a detailed demolition plan will have to be prepared for the job.
In such a scenario, the authorities will have to approach the Supreme Court seeking extension of time for implementing the order, sources said.