The Kochi Police said on Friday that Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code will be imposed on land, water and in the air, in the evacuation zone of illegal apartment complexes to be demolished in Maradu area, PTI reported. The flats will be demolished on Saturday and Sunday. Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits the assembly of four or more persons, will be imposed from 8 am to 4 pm.
Inspector General of Police Vijay Sakhare warned that strong criminal action will be initiated against anyone who attempts to fly drones in the evacuation zone. He said the area is “extremely dangerous” since the buildings are “charged” with explosives.
Sakhare, who is the Kochi police commissioner, said water would be manned by boats of coastal police, land by 500 policemen plus 300 striker parties, for crowd control and traffic control. “If somebody tries to fly, the drones will be shot down,” he added.
Two days ago, the Kochi Police said in an advisory note that people may witness the implosion of the buildings from outside the evacuation zone. The police added that a house-to-house search will be carried out to ensure that all people have been evacuated from the zone.
Residents in the evacuation zone have been directed to switch off electricity and all appliances before leaving their homes. They have also been asked to close all doors and windows.
The Supreme Court had ordered last year that the four apartment buildings – Jains Coral Cove, Alfa Serene, H20 Holy Faith and Golden Kayaloram – be demolished for violation of coastal regulation zone rules. On October 25, the Supreme Court had asked the Kerala government to give Rs 25 lakh interim compensation to Maradu flat owners. The Kerala government had informed that it has so far disbursed Rs 10 crore compensation.
In September, it had said that the demolition process should be completed in 138 days, while the Kerala government had set a deadline of January 9 this year for the demolition.
In November, 40 families filed a fresh petition in the Supreme Court, challenging its verdict to demolish the four apartment complexes. The residents argued that they had not been given a chance to be heard before the top court passed the order on May 8. The Golden Kayaloram Residents Association, in the petition, claimed a “fraud” was played on the court and that it was misled by the committee of local officials that investigated whether the high-rise buildings violated the coastal regulation zone rules.