Two posh Kochi flats bite the dust, two more to be razed on Sunday
Massive arrangements were made for the two-day demolition in Kochi that began at 11 am when the first building was razed to the ground within seconds, followed by the second demolition in a gap in five minutes through controlled implosion technology
Kochi: Two out of four illegal residential apartments in Kerala's Maradu were demolished in a gap of 5 minutes on Saturday.
The 19-floor H2O Holy Faith apartment complex with 90 flats and the Alfa Serene complex with twin towers were demolished at 11 am and 11.05 am using controlled implosion technology. The buildings are being razed for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules. The directions in this regard were passed by the Supreme Court last year.
The court has also ordered the state government to pay interim compensation to each flat owner.
Ahead of the demolition of two out of four illegal residential apartments in Kerala's Maradu, prohibitory orders have been put in place on land, air and water in the area.
The district administration has imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in the 200-meter radius of the apartment complexes.
The orders came into effect at 9 am and it will continue till the authorities conduct an inspection and declare the place safe for people to return.
Half an hour before the implosion, which is scheduled for 11 am, a first siren was sounded for one whole minute.
The siren warned people and ensured that they have left the demolition zone. A police team then searched the evacuation area. At 10.55 am, another one-minute siren alerted motorists and all traffic movement on major roads were stopped. Following this, the flats will be razed down.
A mock drill was carried out successfully on Friday to ensure the safety of citizens ahead of the demolition of four multi-storey flats at Maradu here. "Everything was enacted except for the pressing of the button, which will trigger the collapse. Everything is ready and Section 144 of the CrPC will be enforced on Saturday on land, air and water," said Inspector General (IG) Vijay Sakhare.
The mock drill was held after a primary evaluation of safety measures taken by police.
House to house search was carried out for ensuring 100% evacuation of people residing in the zone. People may witness the implosion from any place outside the evacuation zone.
"The residents in the evacuation zone should switch off the electricity and all the appliances before leaving their homes. They are advised to close all windows and doors to protect their homes from dust. All traffic - air-borne, water-borne, land-based is prohibited in the evacuation zone. Since all buildings have been charged with explosives, nobody shall fly drones in the evacuation zone from immediate effect. Any violation is extremely dangerous and shall attract legal action," the advisory stated.
Moreover, traffic diversions was regulated, based on the warning siren sequence and people could return to their homes once police remove barricades from the roads leading to the evacuation zone.
This comes after the residents of Maradu municipality, whose houses are located within a radius of 200 metres from the towers which are proposed to be demolished on January 11- 12 by the order of the Supreme Court, filed a case in Kerala High Court on Tuesday.
The petitioners requested the Kerala HC to direct the respondents to immediately assess the present market value of the houses and other structures in the 200-meter area before the demolition.