Kochi: The residential towers in the Maradu flat complex were built after tacit approval of the bureaucratic lobby; it emerges from a preliminary review of proceedings. The builders who constructed the towers with the connivance of the bureaucracy earned crores under cover. Several of the flats ordered to be demolished were sold at a price ranging from one to three crore rupees.
An enquiry against the builders who blatantly flouted the rules was started only after the Supreme Court ordered the demolition.
It is learnt that several owners of the flat owners were cognizant of the transgression of laws. The flats were purchased by spending crores upon the guarantee of the builders that the towers would eventually be granted approval. The environmentalists point out this as the reason for the owners not filing any case against the builders. The flat complexes were built just 20 metres away from water body though Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Act stipulates that there should be a minimum distance of 300 metres. Alfa Ventures Private Limited built a flat complex with twin towers. While a complex is just 11.50 metres away from Kundannoor Lake, the other one is 20 metres away. There are 53 residents in 82 flats of the two towers.
Holy Faith H2O is just 9.60 metres away from the lake. There are 98 flats in 18 storeys. Jain Coral Cove built by Jain Housing and Construction is 12 metres away from the lake. There are 45 families across 122 flats permanently residing in the 18-storeyed complex. There 26 families as permanent residents across 41 flats of 16 storeyed Golden Kayaloram complex built just 10.05 metres away from the water front.
The officials who gave approval for the construction flouting the regulations, are still unmarked. Though Crime Branch has initiated a probe after a case was registered against the builders, the responsible officials are still safe. A probe into the role of the officials is also sought from various corners.
The Coastal Zone Management Authority had found that besides Maradu flat complexes, construction of 24 buildings of Ernakulam district are illegal. These include large flat complexes, commercial buildings, resorts, luxury apartments, five-star hotels and others. Maradu flat owners are planning to approach the court demanding action against these buildings too.