Mission Maradu: SC order to demolish illegal high-rises executed

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Kochi: The final illegal apartment complex in Maradu –the 16-storey Golden Kayaloram, which housed 40 apartments — came crumbling down like a pack of cards at 2.29 pm on Sunday, ending the two-day long demolition spree and a culmination of dramatic events that unfolded after the Supreme Court ordered five water-front luxury apartments to be razed down for the violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules in May last year.

The 55-meter Golden Kayaloram was brought down by just 15 kg of explosives at 2.29 pm, after Jains Coral Cove, also 16-storey but having a height of 60 meters, was brought down at through controlled implosion using 395 kg of explosives at 11.03 am on Sunday.

In a landmark order, the Supreme Court, on May 8 last year, directed the five water-front apartments, overlooking the Vembanad Lake, to be demolished for the violation of the CRZ norms. After dilly-dallying and long preparations, the state government has been able to successfully implement the apex court order without any big damages to the properties in the neighbourhood in a two-day long operation on Saturday and Sunday.

While Jains Coral Cove, which had 128-apartments, was brought down in just 11 seconds, the demolition of Golden Kayaloram was delayed by about 29 minutes, from the original set schedule of 2:00 pm. Officials attributed this to the delay in setting up the siren and the equipment in the control room.

“The demolitions were held as per the plan. It is the result of teamwork and were perfect implosions. The entire debris of Jains Coral Cove has fallen inside the compound. No debris has fallen to the water bodies. No damage has been caused to the nearby houses or the structures,” said S Suhas, district collector.

However, it is not known if any damage is caused to the two-storey Anganwady building lying close to the Golden Kayaloram apartment complex.

Vijay Sakhare, the city police commissioner, termed the operations “absolute success”. “We conducted the mission in clockwork precision. No damage has been caused to the adjacent buildings. There has been no harm to human or animal life either,” Sakhare said.

He said the traffic has also been restored within half an hour of the operation.

Suhas said debris has not fallen to the water bodies.  “We have one more demolition to conduct. We are moving to that now,” said the collector.

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