Electricity and power supply to the unauthorised Maradu housing complex in Kochi was snapped in the wee hours of Thursday forcing irate residents to launch a protest. The residents refuse to leave the complex come.
The Maradu complex houses 240 families in 343 flats constructed by four builders in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. The Supreme Court had set a deadline of September 20 for the demolition of the flats and it will pass its final order in this regard on Friday.
According to the plan of action presented by Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose to raze the complex, the eviction of residents will start Sunday and will end on October 3. The complex demolition would begin October 11 and is expected to end by February next year.
Under the plan, families living in one square kilometre of the complex would be rehabilitated until the demolition is complete. It has also been decided to register criminal cases against the builders.
Kochi Sub-Collector SK Singh has been appointed Special Officer to oversee the demolition.
Meanwhile, the hapless residents have written to the Chief Justice of India and the Human Rights Commission about their situation.
"We are not going to go anywhere and what they did in the middle of the night is a violation of all human rights," said an angry housewife.
"We are human beings, why are the authorities behaving so inhumanly?" said another resident.
"They earlier said the connections would be snapped last evening. But see what they did. They cut the supplies in pitch dark," grieved another.
Former Congress minister and local resident K Babu, who arrived at the premises, said the government had a moral obligation to protect the residents and they should be treated with empathy.
"Snapping of utilities is an inhuman act. The state government should see that the wrongdoers in this construction should be taken to task. The poor residents have done no wrong," said Babu.