SC to take up plea seeking compensation for Maradu flat owners in Jan

Kerala to SC: State not liable to pay compensation to Maradu flat owners
Jain Coral Cove flats being demolished. Photo: Josekutty Panackal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of the case seeking compensation for the owners of the flats demolished in Maradu, Kochi till the third week of January, 2021.

The development came following an affidavit filed in the court by Kerala government stating that the State is not liable to pay compensation to the owners of flats in Maradu that were demolished for violating Coastal Regulation Zone rules.

The State also demanded that it get back the Rs 62.25 crore paid as interim compensation to the flat owners and the builders will have to bear the cost of Rs 3.24 crore incurred for the demolition of the flats, the state said.

It also said that the monthly expenses of the compensation committee must also be recovered from the flat builders.

The Justice Balakrishnan Nair Committee recently told the court that the flat builders had so far paid only Rs 4.89 crore towards distribution of compensation.

The committee had demanded Rs 62 crore from the construction companies.

The builders of Golden Kayaloram (KP Varkey & VS Builders) paid Rs 2.89 lakh, while Jain Housing Construction, which built Jains Coral Cove, paid Rs 2 crore. The builders of H2O Holy Faith (Holy Faith Builders and Developers) and Alfa Serene (Alfa Ventures ) have not made any payments.

The committee had asked the construction companies to set aside Rs 62 crore for paying the initial compensation to the flat owners. The committee had rejected the builders’ demand that they be allowed to sell objects and goods in order to distribute the compensation.

The four apartment complexes in Maradu municipality of Ernakulam district were razed to dust on January 11 and 12 to comply with the Supreme Court's May 8, 2019 order.

The court had passed the order after taking note of a report of a three-member committee, which said when the buildings were built, the area was already notified as a CRZ and construction was prohibited.

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