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Kochi Realty Market News

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  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

    Plots allotted to Moolampilly evictees uninhabitable: Panel

    They said that the land at Thuthiyoor is not suitable for constructing houses since it is marshy land. TNN | September 16, 2019, 16:00 IST

    KOCHI: The people’s inquiry commission headed by Justice K Sukumaran has found that the plot at Thuthiyoor near Kakkanad allotted to those evicted from Moolampilly is uninhabitable. Commission members Justice P K Shamzudheen and K Aravindakshan visited the two plots allotted to 169 families under Moolampilly package on Sunday.

    They said that the land at Thuthiyoor is not suitable for constructing houses since it is marshy land. Otherwise, the government should reclaim the land and make it suitable for habitation.

    “The government failed to give rent amount to the families, who live in rented buildings, after 2013. High court had ordered that the government give rent for six months after the construction of new houses. A total of 27 people, who were evicted from Moolampilly, died without fulfilling their dream of having a new house,” the commission said.

    The commission members collected written complaints from 40 people. In the first plot, land has been allotted to 113 families. While in the second plot, land has been allotted to 56 families. A few families, who have built houses on the plots, face waterlogging issues, cracks on walls and other issues.

    The commission will submit a report to the government citing the grievances raised by the families. This is the third sitting of the commission, constituted in 2010. The first and second sittings were held in 2010 and 2012 respectively.


    “The government had promised jobs to one member from each family, who were evicted to make way for rail and road to Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal. But the government failed to keep the promise. We got marshy land, where no house can be built. Many of us have been forced to live in rented buildings and relatives’ houses for more than a decade,” said Johnson, whose family was evicted from Moolampilly.

    Those who turned up before the commission members complained that the compensation amount they got from government was very less.












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    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

      Onus on residents to prove deficiency in service: Consumer forum

      Meanwhile, advocate AD Benny, an activist, said that such a case will not stand in consumer forum if residents were willing to take a risk, by purchasing the flat, after knowing that the matter was a sub judice. TNN | September 17, 2019, 16:30 IST


      KOCHI: Consumer forum officials and consumer rights activists said that Maradu flat residents still have the option to approach the forum if they feel that the builders violated their rights as consumers.

      They said that residents can file a complaint stating that the builder is responsible for the deficiency in the promised service and have engaged in unfair trade practices against the law if they can prove that they were unaware of the legal hiccups at the time of flat purchase and that the builders did not disclose details of the case.

      “In this case, flat owners are consumers who paid a huge amount to builders in return for the flats they sold. Hence, consumer protection laws are applicable. Consumers can take advantage of the provision under Section 12 (1) (b) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which allows a voluntary consumer association (VCA) to file a case on behalf of one or more consumers against the builder. If they could prove their claims, compensation can be availed from the builders. Though many owners claimed that they were unaware of the CRZ violation case in Supreme Court, none of them have approached us,” said consumer forum President Cherian K Kuriakose.


      Meanwhile, advocate AD Benny, an activist, said that such a case will not stand in consumer forum if residents were willing to take a risk, by purchasing the flat, after knowing that the matter was a sub judice.

      “Consumers are bound to reasonably examine products or services before purchase. Builders can easily challenge the claim of flat owners that they were oblivious to the legal issues,” he said.







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      • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

        Applications for regularisation of buildings in Ernalkulam double in four years

        Data with the district town and country planning office show that there has been an increase in the number of applications to regularize structures constructed in violation of building rules. T C Sreemol | TNN | September 25, 2019, 16:00 IST

        KOCHI: Even as Maradu municipality is grappling with the issue of demolition of four apartment complexes following the Supreme Court order citing CRZ violations, there has been an increase in the number of applications in the district to regularize structures which came up in violation of building rules.

        Data with the district town and country planning office show that there has been an increase in the number of applications to regularize structures constructed in violation of building rules.

        Officials attribute this to the exemptions being extended by the successive governments due to electoral pressures.

        In the past four years, the number of applications to regularize illegal structures doubled from 94 in 2014 to 185 in 2018. The number of applications, though came down to 34 in 2016.

        A committee, comprising senior town planner, district collector, regional joint director of urban affairs or deputy director of panchayats and secretary in the local body, scrutinises the applications and regularizes these applications.

        But regularization of buildings is not applicable to structures that were constructed in violation of CRZ rules, fire safety norms and structural stability. Regularization is allowed in matters related to shortage of open space, car parking, access, coverage area, floor area ratio, rainwater harvesting, sewage plants and other issues while constructing a building.

        Officials say the exemptions given by the successive governments to the illegal buildings lead to mushrooming of more such buildings. Despite the department approaching the state government citing the rising number of applications, the latter is not paying attention to the issue.

        “Regularizing unauthorized buildings is not a right practice. The government desists from demolishing the illegal structures on humanitarian grounds. But issuing notification on regular intervals results in more and more people coming up with applications for regularizing the illegal structures. Each political party compete to give exemptions in regularizing the structures eyeing vote share,” said a senior town planning official in Thiruvananthapuram.

        The department invites applications when the government issues notifications at regular intervals. The current notification was issued in February 2018 to regularize the unauthorized constructions carried out before July 31, 2017.

        If a building is found constructed beyond the permissible limit, compounding fee is imposed on it in order to regularize it depending on the floor area ratio.

        “Though unauthorized buildings are regularized after remitting the fixed fine amount, it is not applicable to all violations. If there is no sewage plant or rainwater harvesting system, we cannot regularize the building by imposing fine. We will regularize it only by making the builder construct these structures,” said a local self-government department official in Thiruvananthapuram.










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        • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

          Kerala HC dismisses flat owners’ pleas challenging SC's order for demolition

          While dismissing the petitions, justice Devan Ramachandran said the petitions are not legally sustainable as only the apex court can consider them. TNN | September 25, 2019, 15:00 IST

          KOCHI: The high court, on Tuesday, dismissed petitions filed by apartment owners challenging Maradu municipality’s move to evict them in view of the Supreme Court’s order for demolition.

          While dismissing the petitions, justice Devan Ramachandran said the petitions are not legally sustainable as only the apex court can consider them.

          It is up to the flat owners to take legal steps against the builders if so advised, the court said. The court also said the Supreme Court’s order is a clarion call against people who violate the law.

          When the petitions filed by H2O resident KK Nair and Golden Kayaloram resident MK Paul came up before another bench last week, it had postponed the case and had asked the petitioners to inform their contentions regarding the objection put up by the high court registry on entertaining a plea against implementation of an SC order.

          The court had said that it is better that the petitioners approach the apex court as the notices served by the municipality are part of process for demolition that was ordered by the Supreme Court for violating coastal regulation zone norms.


          However, counsels representing the petitioners had argued that the petitions are not against implementation of the apex court’s order but the failure on the part of the municipality in following due procedure of law.

          In their pleas, the flat owners had contended that the move to evict them is without following due process of law and without issuing a prior notice. The municipality is attempting to forcefully evict them in violation of the basic principles of natural justice and the fundamental rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution, they had alleged.














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          • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

            Residents to begin protest after water, power supply to Maradu flats snapped

            The Maradu complex houses 240 families in 343 flats constructed by four builders in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.IANS | September 26, 2019, 17:15 IST


            KOCHI: Electricity and power supply to the unauthorised Maradu housing complex here was snapped in the wee hours of Thursday forcing irate residents to launch a protest. The residents refuse to leave the complex come what may.

            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 till the demolition is complete. It has also been decided to register criminal cases against the builders.

            Kochi Sub-Collector S.K. 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.












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            • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

              Residents hoping against hope in Maradu

              Most of the flat owners expect a reprieve as there is large number of violators and the court would not order demolition of all the structures.TNN | September 27, 2019, 12:00 IST

              KOCHI: Sreeshankar R has arrived from Mumbai to follow the developments at his apartment in Holy Faith H2O. He said that he bought the apartment in December 2006.

              “At that point there were no legal disputes. Irregularities were identified in 2007. Neither the builder nor the local body informed us about the show cause notice issued by the panchayat and the ensuing legal disputes. I took a bank loan. Even the bank was clueless about these disputes,” he said.

              Now, he pins his hope on the Supreme Court as it has asked the chief secretary to produce the list of violators across the state. “This is the ray of hope we have. There are so many violations,” he said.

              Most of the flat owners expect a reprieve as there is large number of violators and the court would not order demolition of all the structures.

              Rafeeq Sait, a resident of Jains Coral Cove, said, “I have not made any alternative arrangements. If I am thrown out of my flat, I will have to take another flat for rent. Though I have siblings living in the city, it is not possible for go on living with them for ever.”


              Some residents have already made arrangements, if they are forced to shift. There are residents who own other flats or houses in the city and neighbourhoods. “Single home owners will be the worst affected as they have nowhere to go. The prospect of shifting their belongings bogs them down. For those who have multiple homes it is just about shifting their possessions,” said another resident.

              The residents are hopeful that the chief secretary will state their case in the affidavit.










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              • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                Two agencies shortlisted for demolition of Maradu apartment complexes

                The agencies that came forward to participate in the tender insisted on seeking Sarwate’s expertise and we too decided to discuss the issue with him.TNN | October 09, 2019, 17:30 IST

                KOCHI: District administration has shortlisted two agencies – Edifice Engineering and Vijay Steels & Explosives – to demolish the four illegal apartment complexes at Maradu after considering six firms. Also, officials have also decided to invite separate tenders for disposal of debris.

                “A decision on finalizing the agencies will be taken on Friday after meeting SB Sarwate, an implosion expert from Indore. The names of shortlisted agencies will be sent to state government for approval,” said a source.

                The agencies that came forward to participate in the tender insisted on seeking Sarwate’s expertise and we too decided to discuss the issue with him. “A letter was sent to Sarwate in this regard and state government has given its consent,” added the source.

                Though a letter was sent to IIT-Madras, NIT, Calicut and Cusat seeking expert advice on demolition, nothing came from it. “While NIT said it was not interested, the other two institutions did not respond,” said an official with Maradu municipality.

                Earlier, the district administration had said that the agencies would be finalized on October 9. It has said that the buildings will be handed over to selected agencies on October 11. The deadline for residents to vacate these buildings ended on October 3. Though the administration has taken over these apartments, technically, they have given flat owners some more time to shift their belongings.


                “People are not allowed to stay in these flats and police are maintaining a vigil. While some flats have already withdrawn their private security (provided by the owners’ associations) other are expected to follow suit in a couple of days,” said a policeman.

                He added that flat owners must complete shifting by Wednesday. “Almost 90% have already shifted their belongings and moved out. The power and water supply to these buildings will be snapped once the remaining owners go. These facilities are still being provided on a humanitarian ground,” said an official with district administration.

                At the same time, municipality officials – who asked flat owners to produce sale deeds and details of bank accounts – said not many people have furnished them. They added that when the SC committee starts functioning, the local body will let it handle the matters.
















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                • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                  SC-appointed panel sanctions compensation packages to 14 Maradu flat owners

                  of the 14 sanctioned claims, only 3 flat owners will be eligible for Rs 25 lakh interim compensation.Anantha Narayanan K | TNN | October 15, 2019, 14:00 IST

                  KOCHI: The three-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court to finalise the compensation package of the Maradu flat owners sanctioned 14 out of the 19 claims received during its sitting on Monday.

                  of the 14 sanctioned claims, only 3 flat owners will be eligible for Rs 25 lakh interim compensation. The amounts sanctioned for the 11 remaining claims range between Rs 13 lakhs and Rs 21 lakh. The committee said that the amounts were finalised based on the building value registered in the first sale deed executed between the builder and the buyer.

                  "The second owner is entitled to get what the first owner has actually paid to the builder as the former is standing in the shoes of the latter. In other words, the assignee will get only what the assignor paid to the builder," said the statement duly signed by K Balakrishnan Nair, the committee chairman.

                  The committee has published a list of the 14 flat owners whose claims were sanctioned. These include - four owners from Alfa Serene, four owners from Golden Kayaloram and six owners from Jain Coral Cove. The list does not have the name of any flat owner from Holy Faith H20.

                  Out of the three owners, who will be eligible for Rs 25 lakh as compensation, two are from Jain Coral Cove and one is from Alfa Serene. Incidentally, the claims made by them amounted to Rs 1 crore, Rs 95 lakh, and Rs 2 crore respectively.

                  The list furnished the details of the amount claimed by the owners along with their names, date of purchase of the flat, land value, building value, stamp duty as mentioned in the first sale deed produced by the owner.


                  The committee said that the five remaining claimed that 19 were yet to produce the true copies of the first sale deeds and they would be processed only after the submission of sale deeds. The next sitting will be on October 17 and all the applications received till then will be processed by the committee.

                  As many owners claim that they have paid more amount than that was mentioned in the first sale deed, the committee said that the SC has directed them to ascertain the actual amount paid by them.

                  "We have gone by the amounts shown in the registered deeds for the first sale. Some of the claimants have a case that they have paid more amounts than shown in the deeds. This claim is kept for open adjudication later. Now, we direct payment of the amounts, the payment of which is evidenced by the first sale deeds," the statement said.








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                  • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                    KWA, KSEB to recover arrears from builders of Maradu flats

                    ​​The KWA had issued a notice to the municipality for recovery of the arrears from residents who were living in Jain Coral Cove, Golden Kayaloram and Alfa Serene.T C Sreemol | TNN | October 19, 2019, 16:00 IST

                    KOCHI: The Maradu municipality has asked the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) to recover water bill arrears from the builders of the flats set for demolition.

                    The KWA had issued a notice to the municipality for recovery of the arrears from residents who were living in Jain Coral Cove, Golden Kayaloram and Alfa Serene.

                    The notice issued to municipality secretary on October 14 said that Jain Coral Cove owes the KWA Rs 45,989 in arrears. Alfa Serene and Golden Kayaloram owe Rs 10,086 and Rs 6,306, respectively.

                    The KWA snapped the water connection to all the three apartments on Friday. “After the SC gave its verdict on May 8 regarding the demolition of the four flats, none of the consumers paid their water bills. The department will do revenue recovery after we report it online,” said a KWA official.

                    The KWA notice had said that the local body should take steps to recover the arrears either from flat owners or from the builders, since all the residents have vacated the flats.


                    It had first snapped the connection on September 26 but resumed supply on October 1 after the residents demanded more time to leave the apartments. The water bill of the past 18 days has not been included in the arrears submitted to the local body.

                    The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) officials have also been informed that the pending bills of consumers of the four flats be recovered from builders. ‘We had issued a notice to the sub-collector, who oversees the demolition procedures in Maradu. He said the amount will be included in the demolition expenditure, which will be footed by the builders,” said a senior KSEB official in Ernakulam.








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                    • Re : Kochi Realty Market News

                      Flat owners in Kochi begin verifying authenticity of documents

                      Flat owners’ associations have also started verifying whether the builders who are facing action own properties in their complexes.TNN | October 19, 2019, 13:30 IST

                      KOCHI: Thanks to the plight that befell the residents at the four apartments at Maradu, the crime branch investigations into illegal constructions and the arrest of builders, several flat owners in the city have begun checking the veracity of their property documents.

                      Flat owners’ associations have also started verifying whether the builders who are facing action own properties in their complexes.

                      A resident of an apartment complex constructed by Holy Faith Builders and Developers said: “The owners’ association in our apartment complex checked whether the builder holds any flats in our complex. We also verified whether the builder has any right over the undivided share of land. Moreover, the flat owners have been asked to inform the association when they sell their assets.” The owners of the apartment complex also checked the veracity of the sale deeds and other documents associated with the property.

                      The Maradu fiasco has sent out a strong message to flat owners in the city on the need to ensure the validity of their documents. Madhu Kaimal, who owns a flat at Tripunithura said: “There are certain confusion regarding payment of land tax. The news about Maradu flats have encouraged the owners to take up the matter with the owner’s association.” He also said that flat owners are generally cautious about builders having rights over the land.


                      Though flat owners said that they have taken legal opinion before buying apartments in the city and suburbs, many of them confirmed that the recent developments have forced them recheck the documents.

                      Priyadarshini S, wife of an NRI flat owner said: “I have been reading about the issues related to flats. Many women have said that they were ignorant about the deals made by their husbands. As I wanted to avoid troubles, I took all the documents to another lawyer and got them verified.”







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