CRZ violations: SC directs Kerala Chief Secretary to submit report on illegal constructions

CRZ violations: SC directs Kerala Chief Secretary to submit report on illegal constructions
Major Ravi (L)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose to submit a list of all buildings constructed in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and encroaching unauthorized land in Kerala.

The bench has given 6-weeks time to gather the details. The court will hear the case again on March 23, 2020.

The development comes in the wake of Major Ravi's plea that the state had not shared the list with the apex court. Major Ravi, a renowned film director, had a flat in one of the four apartments recently demolished in Maradu.

The court ordered the demolition as it found the construction of the apartments in Maradu municipality – bordering Kochi corporation - in Kerala's Ernakulam district violated the Coastal Regulation Zone rules.

Major Ravi was among the many who protested against the razing, but with the court unrelenting in its stance, the state had to carry out the demolition.

According to a report published by Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA), there are 61 major CRZ violations by private companies and individuals.

With 24 violations, Ernakulam topped the list, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (14), Kannur (7), Kollam (6) and Kozhikode (4).

CRZ violations in Kerala

It had also detected violations by government agencies – a bund construction by Kerala Land Development Corporation in Kollam and Tourism department's boat club in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Kerala cabinet, which discussed Coastal Regulation Zone violations in September last year, had noted that all illegal apartment complexes in the state should be demolished.

According to preliminary estimates, there are over 1,800 illegal structures.

The Supreme Court also sought response from the Kerala government on pleas by Kochi's Maradu flat owners, seeking setting up of a tribunal for exact valuation of the land.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee issued notice to the Kerala government on the application filed by the flat owners, who sought exact valuation of their property.

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