Kerala: Compensation a worry for owners of Maradu apartments

Shaju Philip
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The demolition of the four apartments will be carried out through controlled implosion on January 11 and 12. (Express photo by Vishnu Varma)

Their imposing waterfront homes will soon be a searing memory as they are demolished according to a Supreme Court order for violation of CRZ norms. But, for the owners of the four apartment complexes at Maradu that are to be demolished, the battle for justice is far from over.

Four complexes with 325 units will be demolished in an implosion on Saturday and Sunday. The apex court had appointed a three-member committee to sanction interim relief of Rs 25 lakh to the flat owners. For the 279 flats sold out, 266 owners had approached the committee for compensation. But, the committee has so far cleared compensation for 247 flat owners.

Committee sources said it had rejected 13 applications mainly because the claimants could not produce sale deed. “There is evidence that they had paid the builder. But these owners would have to either initiate a civil dispute or approach the Supreme Court for relief,” a member said.

However, the real battle for the owners would be to get compensation for their demolished properties at the prevailing market rate. The committee, in the next stage, is slated to initiate steps to see that the owners get only the actual amount paid to the builders. This would mean that the owners get less than half the market price of the flats.

“As per the SC directive, owners are eligible to get only the amount they had paid, but they are demanding the market rate for the flats. They have to move a civil court for relief on that front,” said committee sources.

On Thursday, the committee wrote to the Supreme Court seeking clarifications on many fronts. As many as 266 flat owners have submitted claims for 279 flats; with one owning five flats and seven others owning two flats each. “The SC said Rs 25 lakh should be paid to each flat owner. The committee has sought clarification on whether Rs 25 lakh is to be released per flat owner or per flat. At present, we have released only per flat owner,” said committee sources.

As the SC had ordered the four builders to pay compensation to the committee, the process for the same has begun.