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Credai Demands Judicial Probe and Alleges that the Truth not Discussed

In Business
November 01, 2019

Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) Kerala said that it was an unfortunate order for demolition of the 5 residential buildings at Maradu, Kochi, by the Supreme Court.

Credai office-bearers sad that the devastating effects and the real cause leading to such an order, never caught the attention of any authorities including the Apex Court. They demanded that the State Government should conduct a judicial probe which led to the demolition of the buildings and bring the truth before the public.

They pointed out that of the said 5 residential projects, Holiday Heritage Project has not even been constructed & the building, Golden Kayaloram, was constructed prior to preparation of CZMP as per the first CRZ notification, 1991. Alfa Ventures obtained Building permit in 2006 and completed the building during 2012. Jain Housing obtained permit during 2006 and completed by 2010. Likewise Holy faith obtained its permit during 2006 and building was completed during 2012 .As it can be observed, the owners are residing in these buildings for about 8 to 10 years by paying their property taxes till date .

The present crisis in Maradu flats are due to the unclear CRZ notification, defective Coastal Zone Management Plan of 1996, absence of clear guidelines, changes in notifications in various stages. This had led the common man being badly affected and they are denied justice and the basic right assured by the Constitution.

The mistakes pointed out by the Union Environment Ministry on Coastal Zone Management Plan in 1996 is not rectified even after 23 years. The alleged CRZ violations in Kerala in the backdrop of such a defective document cannot be justified to be a violation.

The three member committee appointed by the Supreme Court on 27.11.2018 to determine whether Maradu Municipality is in CRZ-III or in CRZ-II constituted a sub-committee of 4 members, which surprisingly included 2 members of Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA), who are the Appellants before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter, and thus directly interested to take a particular view and reported that the area in dispute falls within Zone III which is against natural justice.

MoEF vide its order dated 28.02.2019 had approved the Coastal Zone Management Map of Ernakulam district and placed Maradu Area in CRZ-II. This communication was received by KCZMA on 01.03.2019 but despite having knowledge of the same, the same fact was never brought to the notice of the Supreme Court by the Committee when submitting their report on 12-03-19.

The Committee did not hear the affected parties mainly the Owners of the units as well. The Supreme Court based on the report of the committee had passed order dated 08/05/2019 thereby directing that all the four multistoried residential buildings be demolished.

In the Maradu case, we feel that there was a gross miscarriage of justice, as the Officials concealed and distorted the facts in their report submitted to the Supreme Court and the affected owners were not heard. The apartment owners have not done any crime.

The demolition of flats at Maradu could have been avoided if the State had proper information and had made a principled approach highlighting the true facts and the history of events of CRZ and failures of mapping by the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA). It is also to be noted that there is absolute non-compliance/inaction on various committee reports over the last 23 years, in this regard.

Government should be playing the role of a supportive and constructive agency than that of a destructive force. Due to wrong information fed by few officials the Government too failed to take the Supreme Court into confidence by apprising the real facts. The Government should order a judicial inquiry into what led to the present situation in the State.

The anomalies in CRZ Mapping should be rectified by doing proper Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) to protect the interest of the common man and investors, failing which thousands of other small and big buildings in the coastal towns in Kerala which are developed and substantially built up will also suffer.

At present, the buildings in question are being subject to demolition, and urgent action is required to stop the same. The State Government can pass an order for Regularization of the Buildings which have no violation as alleged and the Government may take up this matter with the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change for approving the said regularization scheme by way of suitable order.

It is injustice to take criminal case against the builders for the drawbacks of the officials and respective authorities like Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA).Registering a vigilance & corruption case and arrest of Builders based on a non-existent violation is totally unfounded. We appeal to the Government to drop all such punitive actions against the builders who have fallen prey to the inefficient systems and the negligent attitude of the authorities/officials, they said.

Credai press conference was attended by Chairman, S.Krishna Kumar, Past Chairman, Dr. Najeeb Zackeria, Past national treasurer Abdul Azzez, past national vice chairman, Raghuchandran Nair, K.Srikant and Credai Kochi President Ravi Jacob, Environment Consultant P Z. Thomas and other Governing Council members of the Kerala chapter.