Kochi: In a blow to real estate major DLF, the Kerala High Court today directed it to demolish certain portions of its apartment complex, constructed on the banks of the Chilavanoor backwaters here in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone norms.
Justice A V Ramakrishna Pillai issued the direction while disposing of a petition by one A V Antony of Kochi against the construction alleging that there was violation of CRZ norms.
The court directed DLF to stop all further construction as per the permit granted by Kochi corporation.
Earlier, the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) had accused the Kochi Corporation of allegedly helping DLF to complete the construction of its apartment complex on the Chilavannoor backwaters by refusing to act on the authorityâ€™s directive not to grant building permits for constructions in CRZ areas.
In an affidavit, K K Ramachandran, member secretary of the authority, had stated that as per the CRZ notification, all constructions with an investment of Rs five crore or more required prior CRZ clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The construction by DLF was allowed without following the provisions of the notification.
The KCZMA said it had issued instructions to the corporation and the Ernakulam District Collector to initiate action against DLF under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. As per the report that was prepared by the Centre for Earth Sciences Studies (CESS), the property of DLF fell within CRZ I (ii) and CRZ II categories.
The KCZMA had directed the corporation to stop all illegal constructions in the CRZ areas. However, the corporation had failed to comply with the provisions of the Environmental (Protection) Act, it was submitted.
The construction had been undertaken after reclaiming ‘wetland pokkali field’ which had been classified as CRZ I (ii) areas as it was an ecologically fragile area.