Two firms secure demolition deal for 4 Maradu high-rises


Kochi: Two companies have be chosen by the Kerala government for the demolition of the four apartment complexes at Maradu in Ernakulam district on the orders of the Supreme Court.

The companies that secured the contract are Edifice Engineering based in Mumbai and Vijay Steel of Chennai.

The selected companies have to submit a detailed blueprint on the demolition to the government within 15 days. The companies also have to give a clear plan on the controlled explosion. Depending on this, four tiers of safety precautions would be taken, said Snehil Kumar Singh, who in charge of the demolition.

A decision would be taken on the number of people to be evacuated after considering this action plan.

The government would decide on the buildings to be assigned to the selected firms, the Sub-Collector, who also has the additional charge as the new secretary of Maradu Municipality, stated.

A government-appointed expert committee had examined the four apartment complexes and assessed the expertise of the companies before recommending them for the task.

An emergency meeting of the Municipal Council that would be held on Saturday would accept the recommendations and issue selection notices to these firms. Thereafter, the flats would be handed over to the companies.

The flats have to be demolished by January 9, as per the deadline submitted by the government in the Supreme Court.

It would take two months to fully carry out the clearance of debris after the demolition brought about by controlled explosion that would last just a few seconds. Thirty days are needed for removal of debris and clearing of site to normal condition. The entire set of activities will be completed in 138 days, the authorities estimate.

In all the four multi-storeyed apartment buildings have 343 flats. The properties cover an area of 68,028.71 square metre.

Primary focus on security

As dust would definitely billow out during explosion people in the 100-metre radius of the flats that would be razed would have to stay away for four to six hours.

The exact time for the explosion would be decided later.

Traffic regulations too would be clamped. The debris from the demolition is likely to fall within a 3-m radius. The deadline for the demolition given to the SC would be met, Snehil Kumar added.

Two national highways namely NH-47 and NH-47(A) pass through this area.

Priority is on safety of public and people involved in demolition process. Even when the expert committee held talks with the interested companies, steps for precaution were stressed upon.

For ensuring the safety of the neighbourhood during the controlled explosion, the municipality is reportedly planning to take a Rs 100-crore third-party insurance cover. A final decision on this has to be taken by the state government.

The apex court had ordered for the demolition of the flats that were built by violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. Though petitions were filed against the SC verdict, the top court refused to entertain them and pulled up the government for not complying with its order.

The court had passed the order after taking note of a report of a three-member committee, which said when the buildings were built, the area was already notified as a CRZ and construction was prohibited.