Supreme Court upholds order against demolition of DLF’s housing project in Kochi
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld an order of the Kerala high court allowing real estate company DLF to regularize an illegal structure built along the banks of eco-sensitive Chilavannur backwaters, near Kochi.
DLF’s project costing over Rs300 crore comprises 180-odd luxury flats.
The Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA) had appealed to the apex court challenging the Kerala high court’s decision permitting DLF to go ahead with its housing project.
The Kerala high court had observed that the structure was illegal, but said that causing demolition would be more detrimental than causing it to be retained. It spared the demolition of the structure but ordered DLF to pay a fine of Rs1 crore to the local district administration.
The money was to be used exclusively to maintain ecological balance in the area situated on the eastern side of Chilavannur river.
While allowing DLF to not demolish the structure, the court had also observed that the construction was not in Coastal Regulation Zone – I (where construction is prohibited) but in Coastal Regulation Zone – II (where construction is possible, subject to being regularized).
KSCZMA had submitted that in the context of regularization of unauthorized constructions, particularly those violating the laws and norms set up for protecting the environment around coastal areas, the apex court had taken an unequivocal and clear stand against erring real estate promoters and builders.