Published: Sun, January 12, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Two of four Maradu Buildings demolished within seconds

Two of four Maradu Buildings demolished within seconds

Kochi's H2O Holy Faith and Alfa Serene, spread in at least 800,000 square feet were demolished in one of the largest demolition drives in the country involving residential buildings.

The twin towers of Alfa Serene were next.

Within seconds, two of the four apartment complexes in Maradu in Kerala's Kochi, came tumbling down after the explosion on Saturday.

The apex court had on September 6 ordered its demolition by September 20 for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone Arules, but Kerala government dilly dallied it.

The two remaining flats are scheduled to be demolished via controlled implosion on Sunday.

The first of the two buildings, a 19-floor apartment housing 90 flats was brought down in just over 5.4 seconds while the second one, the 16-floors high was demolished just minutes later, amidst a massive cloud of dust, with hundreds of people gathered to watch the unprecedented scenes.

Police commissioner Vijay Sakhare said they were ready to manage crowds they expected would flock for a "once-in-a-lifetime kind of spectacle".

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The inhabitants of the razed apartment blocks in the well-off Maradu district of Kochi city had bought their 343 flats in good faith and now face a lengthy legal fight to recoup their money.

Nearby residents said they were anxious about the impact of the demolition on their homes, however. In a controlled blast, two of the four apartments were demolished following a Supreme Court order past year. As part of the safety measures, 2,000 individuals living in the vicinity of the apartments were also evacuated.

Firemen reportedly used water cannons to tame the dust from both demolitions.

Kerala is famed for its backwaters, brackish lagoons and lakes that run parallel to the Arabian Sea - creating an environmentally fragile region.

The residents of the Maradu apartmets initially refused to vacate but moved out after local authorities cut water and power supplies.

Resident Shamshudeen Karunagapally said his wife and children could not watch the buildings go down as it was "too painful for them to see their dreams shatter before their eyes". "We are really anxious", Divya, who has moved into temporary accommodation, told AFP.

The state government has been ordered to pay "interim compensation" of about $35,000 (£27,000) to affected residents, according to local media reports.

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