Air quality to be monitored at Supertech’s twin tower demolition site in Noida
Both towers are to be completely demolished on May 22 in accordance with the Supreme Court’s February 7 orders
The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has asked Edifice Engineering, the private firm contracted to demolish the Supertech twin towers in Sector 93, to submit periodic reports on air quality at the site. The demolition of internal walls and pillars of the 32-storeyed twin towers—Apex and Ceyane— began on February 22.
Both towers are to be completely demolished on May 22 in accordance with the Supreme Court’s February 7 orders, which stated that realtor Supertech Limited and demolition contractor Edifice Engineering implement the Supreme Court court’s August 31, 2021 order to demolish the two buildings in Supertech Emerald Court, which were constructed in violation of building bylaws, without further hold-up. Edifice Engineering submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to UPPCB last month, which was approved, stating there are four schools, four residential societies and villages, two hospitals, two parks, one temple and a drain within one kilometre of the site that may be affected by the dust cloud during demolition.
“The demolition will lead to an unavoidable dust cloud. Since something like this will happen for the first time on such a large scale, we also don’t know what to expect. However, the company is taking all kinds of dust mitigation steps, such as covering the neighbouring buildings. Residents in the vicinity will also be asked to keep all their doors and windows shut. We will monitor the air quality before, during and after the blast, and have also asked a private company to do so and submit periodic reports,” said Praveen Kumar, regional officer, UPPCB Noida.
He added that while they have asked the company to submit reports after every 7-10 days, UPPCB will increase the frequency of air quality monitoring as the demolition date approaches. For a few days before and after the blast, the pollution body will continuously monitor the area’s air quality. The nearest UPPCB automatic ambient air quality monitoring stations are in Amity University in Sector 125 and in Sector 116.
Meanwhile, officials of Edifice Engineering said they will conduct a controlled blast to demolish the towers which is precise and safe--the ensuing dust cloud is the only negative side effect. They added that the dust cloud could settle within an hour, but the overall local pollution level will go up.
“During a demolition, there will be a huge dust cloud which will dissipate soon. The entire area around the site will be clear in a couple of hours. However, the time the dust cloud will take to dissipate and how far the dust will travel depends on the wind speed and direction at the time of the blast. There is no way to control or minimise it. We have tried using fire tenders, mist guns and other solutions, but they have only been 10% successful in controlling the dust,” said Utkarsh Mehta, partner, Edifice Engineering.
He added that as a precautionary measure, they may ask the Noida authority to keep mechanical sweeping machines ready. They will also advise neighbouring residents to keep all doors and windows closed, switch off their ACs and cover the external units of their ACs so that the dust is not sucked in.
Officials said that the wind direction during May-June is usually easterly, which would mean that the wind will travel from Noida towards Delhi. How far the dust will travel will depend on the wind speed on the day.
UPPCB has also suggested a list of other measures to be taken during the next few months till the demolition.
“We have asked the company to use mist spray guns even before the blast takes place. They must also monitor noise pollution levels. Additionally, they have to follow all C&D waste disposal norms and cover waste well during transportation. We will be monitoring these activities,” said Kumar.
Neighbouring residents are also concerned about the resulting pollution.
Udaybhan Singh Teotia, president of Emerald Court Apartment Owners’ Association, said, “We are not concerned about noise pollution because that seems manageable; however, we are worried about the dust, especially because our homes are right next to these towers. We have asked the Noida authority to ensure that the buildings are covered and all precautionary measures are taken.”