Eviction process over as all residents of illegal flats in Kochi vacatetext_fields
Kochi: All flats in the four illegal apartment complexes here barring those remaining locked for long have been vacated by the residents in accordance with the deadline for eviction, official sources said here Friday.
The Supreme Court had ordered demolition of the over 300 waterfront flats built on the coastal zone at Maradu and the deadline set by the civic authorities for vacating them ended on Thursday evening.
However, shifting of household articles, furniture and electronic items from around 29 flats was still underway after officials granted some relaxation to complete the process, the sources said adding the eviction process which commenced on Sunday was over.
Some residents had earlier said the time given for vacating the flats was insufficient.
Police have taken over the control of the four apartment complexes, which would be handed over to the companies to be selected for demolition by October 11, they said.
Officials said the doors of 50-odd flats in the illegal buildings remained locked even as the deadline drew to a close at 5 PM on Thursday.
Authorities believe some of these flats would be owned by the non-resident Indians (NRIs) who could not reach here on time or belong to those who had not secured occupancy certificates from the civic body.
Official sources said if the owners do not come with relevant documents for shifting their goods from the flats, the revenue authorities would remove them.
Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas and City police Commissioner and IG Vijay Sakhare had visited the flats on Thursday and took stock of the situation.
Authorities have said they were going ahead as per the 138-day action plan approved by the apex court for demolishing the buildings.
The government has sanctioned Rs one crore to Maradu Municipality to complete the process of "evacuation and rehabilitation" of the residents.
The Supreme Court had on September 27 directed demolition of the apartment complexes within 138 days, a time-line given by the Kerala government, and asked the state to pay Rs 25 lakh interim compensation to each flat owner within four weeks.
The top court had said it was not against anyone but the primary concern is illegal constructions in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas, which eventually lead to natural disasters.
Also ordering setting up of a one-member committee of retired high court judge to oversee the demolition and assessing of total compensation payable to flat owners, it had directed freezing of assets of builders and promoters involved in the construction of the illegal buildings.