Supreme Court
Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern at the suffering of the Maradu flats residents saying that they cannot be left in dire straits and directed the Kerala government to disburse Rs 25 lakh each as interim compensation to the flat owners within four weeks.

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat gave the order while expressing concern over illegal construction in coastal areas and natural disasters that follow due to these activities. The top court asked the authorities to submit a list of flat owners. Senior Advocate Harish Salve told the court that Rs 100 crore will be required to compensate the residents of Maradu flats and proposed to pay interim compensation to each flat owner.

"We do not want Maradu flats' residents to be left in dire straits. But our primary concern is illegal constructions in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas and natural disasters that follow. The flats have to be demolished. If you (government) cannot demolish it, we will ask someone else at your cost to do it," the top court said. Thereafter, the Kerala government proposed a time schedule of 120 days to demolish illegal flats at CRZ in Maradu. The government informed the court that in 90 days demolition activities will be completed and the rest 30 days, it will take for cleaning the debris. The top court opined that shelter as well as compensation should be given to the flat owners of Maradu.

Directing an interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the flat owners, the top court said that the remainder of the compensation amount may be decided by a committee. The court ordered the appointment of a committee headed by a retired judge, technical and civil experts to oversee the demolition and evaluate the compensation payable to the flat owners.

The court has directed that the process be completed as per this plan.

The court has asked the Kerala government for a list of the proposed names who may be part of the committee. The court also said that money for the compensation should be recovered from the respective builders.

The Maradu complex comprises 356 flats in five buildings and houses 240 families. The apex court had on September 6 ordered its demolition by September 20 for violating the CRZ rules.

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