Kochi flats: Some residents leave, others seek more timetext_fields
Kochi: With the deadline for residents of the Maradu flats complex, whose demolition has been ordered by the Supreme Court, to move out ending at 12 midnight, some have left, but a huge majority still remains, as they wait for alternate accommodation, while district authorities are working hard to avoid any sort of forceful eviction.
The apex court had on September 6 ordered demolition of the complex by September 20 for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone rules.
The 240 families who occupy flats in the four buildings in the Maradu complex, had promised the district authorities on Sunday that they will be moving out latest by Thursday.
Out of these while around 50 of them have moved out, the remaining have said that they are willing to abide by the court order and will definitely move out, but they need a few more days.
The Maradu Municipality, however, have made their decision that they will not give any more time and have called in the police who after a few rounds of discussion with the remaining residents have come to an informal agreement according to sources in the know of things.
The police have asked the residents to give a statement in writing that they have moved out from their flats, but they can, however take a few more days to move out their belongings.
To this some of them have agreed, while some of them said they will do it, after they are assured by the authorities that they will find accommodation for them to shift to.
"We have no problem in moving out, as we are bound to comply with the apex court directive. All of us are cooperating and doing our best to move out, but there are practical difficulties like getting the labour to help us move and such things and hence we seek a little more time," said a resident, who has already moved out, but is packing their belongings to be removed.
Another resident said that they were told that the district authorities will arrange for their accommodation, but that has not taken place.
"We will surely move, but, why can't they give us the place to where we have to move. Moreover the companies who will be demolishing this building is expected to get ready with their work on October 11, so why can't the authorities give us time till then to remove our things," asked another peeved resident.
But the authorities, who are determined to see that the directive of the apex court is abided to, are getting ready to prepare a statement to be put before the apex court based on their interaction with the residents.
The Kerala government on Thursday transferred a sum of Rs 1 crore to the municipality to ensure that they do not run out of cash for meeting the expenses of eviction.
In a related development, state police's Crime Branch chief Tomin Thachenkery arrived at the flat complex and later told the media that they have also begun their job and all those who have erred in their duty, including government officials and builders, will be proceeded against.