Until the fourth siren goes off, signaling the start of demolition at 11 a.m. on January 11, apartment owners in an illegal skyscraper at the edge of Lake Vembanad in Maradu in the district of & # 39; Ernakulam in Kerala, kept hope against hope that their homes would somehow be saved. But when the hour struck, powerful explosions crossed the building, starting from the ground floor. In the next few seconds, the 16 stories went down like a pack of cards, leaving behind a pile of rubble.
Huge crowds had gathered at a safe distance to watch the implosions, a first in Kerala. The demolition of the building that had been erected in violation of the rules of the coastal regulatory area was hailed as a harsh message from the Supreme Court against illegal construction. The decision came after a long legal battle. Within 35 minutes, Alfa Serene, another luxury waterfront building, was razed to the ground. On January 12, Jain Coral Cove and Golden Kayaloram were demolished. The emulsion explosives left no scar on nearby structures.
As the work of spraying concrete slabs into debris begins, there are doubts about who will own the land. The owners of apartments claim their undivided shares, while environmentalists want eco-catering. The neighborhood is covered with a thick blanket of dust. And the Aroor and Ezhupunna panchayats, where the debris was to be thrown away until reused, issued a stop memo against such storage. A new crisis seems to be brewing.