How Kochi Police, district admin are gearing up for demolition of Maradu flats

Maradu apartments, Maradu demolition, Maradu apartment demolition, Kochi Police, Kochi news, Kerala, indian express

The residential complexes have been ordered to be razed by the Supreme Court for violating rules of coastal regulation zone (CRZ). (File Photo)

Less than a week from the scheduled demolition of four apartment complexes in Kochi, the Ernakulam district administration and the city police have drawn up a blueprint of heavy security arrangements to ensure the event passes off without any lapses. The residential complexes have been ordered to be razed by the Supreme Court for violating rules of coastal regulation zone (CRZ).

According to the final schedule, the H20 Holy Faith apartment is on track to be the first to be brought down through controlled implosion exactly at 11 am on January 11. Five minutes later, the twin towers of Alfa Serene will be razed. On January 12, the next day, the Golden Kayaloram apartment, the smallest of the four, will be brought down at 11 am, followed by Jain Coral Cove apartment, the biggest of the four, at 2 pm. Each implosion will be of a duration of less than 12 seconds.

The two demolitions on January 11, just five minutes apart, has been planned in such a way that the process is completed as soon as possible and ensure minimal suspension of traffic movement in the area, district officials confirmed.

Around 1,000 kilograms of high-grade emulsion explosives are being used to demolish the four complexes. The process of filling explosives in holes drilled into pillar columns of the four buildings began the morning of January 3 after the final nod came from the Petroleum and Safety Explosives Organisation (PESO). The pillar columns are then covered by protective material to prevent any possible mishaps.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC will be imposed within a 200-metre radius of the four demolition sites at 9 am on January 11 and 12. It will be lifted only after the Fire and Rescue Services department gives the all-clear sign. A mock drill of the demolition exercise will be conducted on Jan 10.

Since the National Highway 66 passes close to the demolition sites on the first day, officials said traffic would be held-up briefly before and during the demolition. Directions on traffic arrangements in the city around the Maradu municipality will be issued by the police later this week.

The district administration is planning to evacuate around 2000 people who live in a 200-metre radius of the four demolition sites. They will be sheltered temporarily at the Sacred Heart College in Thevara and the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) at Panangad. They can return to their homes once the Fire and Rescue Services officials give the final nod.

Kochi City Police Commissioner Vijay Sakhare told reporters Sunday that nearly 500 police officers would be deployed at each of the four demolition sites as part of the security clampdown and restraining crowds who would be eager to catch the spectacle. Electricity connections to the area would be cut off during the period.

"All roads leading to the demolition sites would be closed by 9 am. Then, our search parties would visit each house in a 200-metre radius to make sure no one's present at the time of demolition. Nobody would be allowed to go into the area," Sakhare said.

"Since it's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of spectacle and everyone would want to witness the event, we will manage that crowd as well," he added.