KOCHI — Authorities in southern Kerala state on Saturday razed two luxury high-rise apartment buildings for violating environmental norms, in one of India's largest demolition drives involving residential complexes.
The razing of the illegal apartments built very close to a posh lakeside in the state’s Maradu district took place after a court last year ordered their demolition for violating laws that prohibit construction within a certain distance from the sea, rivers, lakes or other water bodies.
The apartments were a pale shadow of their former luxurious appearance after demolition agencies chipped away at the buildings for two months, reducing them to a bare skeletal frame. The buildings came crashing down in seconds as a thick cloud of smoke spread to around 200 metres.
Almost 2 000 people in nearby residential areas were evacuated prior to the demolition, which was witnessed by scores of people who recorded the event on their cellphones.
The remaining two buildings will be demolished on Sunday.