Supertech twin towers | Life limping back to normal in demolition-affected zone

Updated on Aug 30, 2022 12:25 AM IST

The towers left behind 80,000 metric tonnes of debris, of which around 55,000 MT will settle in the basement. Officials from Edifice Engineering and Jet Demolition will transport the remaining 25,000 MT out in trucks over the next three months.

The debris of the Supertech twin towers settled down after the demolition in pursuance of a Supreme Court order that found the structures were built in violation of norms, in Noida on Monday (ANI)
The debris of the Supertech twin towers settled down after the demolition in pursuance of a Supreme Court order that found the structures were built in violation of norms, in Noida on Monday (ANI)
By, Noida

Relief rippled through Noida’s Sector 93A on Monday, a day after the condemned Apex and Ceyanne towers were brought down, as apprehensive residents of neighbouring buildings returned to safe, undamaged homes, which now had an unhindered view from the windows and balconies, with the twin towers now a pile of rubble and debris.

Residents said they welcomed the efficient implosions, which left little collateral damage, save a few cracked windowpanes and a damaged boundary wall in the neighbouring ATS Greens Village society.

“Till Sunday morning, there were two humongous towers in our faces, even though we were promised an open green view all the way till the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway,” said Rajesh Rana, a resident of Aster 2 (which was nine metres from the towers), in Supertech Emerald Court. Rana said he paid a premium of 70,000 for the “expressway view” from his flat in 2009.

He said the unhindered view was akin to “breathing fresh air”.

Sunday afternoon’s demolition brought closure, in seconds, to a nearly 10-year-long legal battle, fought by residents of Emerald Court, after the Supreme Court on August 31 last year observed that Supertech built the 32-storey Apex and 29-storey Ceyanne towers in contravention of building by-laws, with the “nefarious complicity” of Noida authority officials.

Seven buildings in the immediate vicinity of the blast — three in Emerald Court and four in ATS Greens Village — were identified as the immediate exclusion zone, with officials expecting minor, temporary damage to these structures. However, all the towers in the society were on Sunday morning evacuated as a precaution ahead of the controlled implosions, when 3,700kg of explosives ripped through the two buildings, sending up a plume of dust several metres high that caked every building nearby in a thick sheet of dust.

The towers left behind 80,000 metric tonnes of debris, of which around 55,000 MT will settle in the basement. Officials from Edifice Engineering and Jet Demolition will transport the remaining 25,000 MT out in trucks over the next three months.

Officials were left with a mammoth clean-up after the blasts and began washing down the buildings, roads, and parks on Sunday evening itself.

About 500 workers and around 100 water tankers, 22 smog guns, six sweeping machines were put up around the towers to wash the area up.

Clean-up efforts were, however, suitably aided by an hour-long spell of rain on Monday evening that washed away a lot of the dust and left officials with a far easier task at hand.

Meanwhile, teams led by Noida authority chief Ritu Maheshwari, Gautam Budh Nagar police commissioner Alok Mittal and joint commissioner Love Kumar inspected the site in Emerald Court and in ATS Village societies and took stock of the damages and ongoing work on Monday morning.

“Authority officers have been instructed to extensively clean up every inch of these societies,” said Maheshwari.

Joe Brinkkman, CEO of Jet Demolitions and the mastermind behind the blast designs appreciated his team’s work.

“We are now handing over charge to Edifice, which will break up and remove the debris, which will all be recycled,” said Brinkkman.

Mayur Mehta, project manager from Edifice Engineering, said these processes were kicked off soon after demolition.

“We have also started a structural analysis, which will take about three days. Meanwhile, minor repairs on repairing cracked windows have been started,” said Mehta.

He added that the total quantifiable damage reported so far includes some cracked windows and the collapsed ATS Greens Village boundary.

“We have been informed about cracked windows in 10 ATS Village and six Emerald Court flats so far, but all the people have not moved back in yet. However, we don’t expect the number to increase much more. Additionally, we have measured and know that about 35 feet of the ATS wall has collapsed. We will be shifting all the debris out of their premises within about five days,” said Mayur Mehta, project manager, Edifice Engineering.

But residents said that while the legal battle had ended, they will continue in their efforts to ensure Noida authority officials involved in greenlighting the illegal towers are brought to book.

UBS Teotia, president of Emerald Court RWA said that waking up on Monday morning felt different, with their view no more being blocked by the towering Twin Towers. “Residents clicked pictures from their balconies and shared them on our common whatsapp groups to express how relieved and happy they are with the demolition. We plan to have a gala dinner to celebrate our victory once all the debris is removed,” he said.

Those in nearby towers were also relieved after the demolition. “After a year of feeling anxious and uncertainity, we are happy that the demolition has taken place and was largely successful. Even though we were assured there won’t be any damage, we were bracing for an earthquake like situation. Thankfully nothing of that sort happened, except a thick layer of dust all over the society,” said Rajnish Nandan, AOA president of Parsavnath Prestige society near Twin Towers.

Officials in the district vigilance department said that even a year after FIRs were registered against the errant officials, in pursuance to a Supreme Court order, no action has been taken against them so far.

The Noida authority got the vigilance FIR registered against all 26 former and current officials of the authority, four Supertech directors and two architects for their involvement in getting the maps approved for the twin towers, despite the plans being in violation of building regulations.

The FIR came after a committee, constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government to probe the violations, submitted a report indicting the above-mentioned officials and recommending further action against them.

No spokesperson for Supertech was available for comment on Monday. However in a statement on Sunday, the company said, “The building plans of the Project including the two towers were approved by the Noida Authority in 2009 which was strictly in accordance with the then prevailing Building Bye laws announced by the State Government. No deviation from the Building Plan was made and the Building was constructed after making full payment to the Authority. However, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has not found the construction satisfactory on technical grounds and accordingly issued orders to demolish the two towers. We respect the orders of the Apex Court and are committed to implement the same.”

On September 2, 2021, the Supreme Court, while ordering the demolition of twin towers, also directed the prosecution of all officials and private entities, who were engaged in these irregularities.

The vigilance department, however, is yet to conclude the probe report, said people aware of the matter.

“We hope the government will do its job in accordance with the SC order,” said UBS Teotia, president of the Emerald Court apartment owners’ association. He was one of the petitioners who first filed the petition before the Allahabad high court 10 years ago, which kicked off the fight that culminated in Sunday’s demolition.

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