Gone in seconds: Residential Maradu flats brought down by controlled implosion

Updated on Jan 11, 2020 04:00 PM IST

The Maradu apartment complexes, spread on at least 800,000 square feet, was brought down four months after the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of four residential buildings after several rounds of litigation.

Explosives were placed in 1471 holes in the 70-metre high building, officials of Edifice Engineering said.(HT Photo)
Explosives were placed in 1471 holes in the 70-metre high building, officials of Edifice Engineering said.(HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, Kochi | By

Two of the four apartment complexes in Maradu in Kerala’s Kochi were demolished in a controlled implosion on Saturday after the Supreme Court’s order in May last year for violating the Coastal Zone Regulation (CZR) norms.

The two buildings in the Maradu apartment complexes, spread in at least 800,000 square feet area, were razed within seconds, in one of the largest demolition drives in the country involving residential buildings.

The first to come down like a pack of cards was the H20 Holy Faith complex, a 19-floor building with 91 apartments. Alfa Serene with 67 houses on 17 floors, 800 meters away, was the next to be demolished.

A portion of the H20 Holy Faith building fell in the backwaters as rubble of almost the height of a five-storey building settled on the ground.

Firemen used water cannons to control the dust and fumes which enveloped the whole Maradu apartment complexes’ area after the building came down.

Officials said the H20 Holy Faith complex was razed using 212.4kg of explosives at around 11:19am.

“The first explosion was successful,” Utkarsh Mehta, the managing director of the main contractor Edifice Engineering, said.

Explosives were placed in 1471 holes in the 70-metre high building, officials of Edifice Engineering said.

South Africa-based Jet Demolitions is the other big company involved in the demolition.

A special pooja invoking Lord Ganesha to remove all hurdles was held earlier in the morning to ensure smooth operation, said the companies involved in the operation.

Authorities have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which bans the assembly of more than four people at any place.

Police have tightened security in Maradu, on the outskirts of the port city of Kochi as top police and civil officials camped in the area.

Green activists said the demolitions will be a lesson for land encroachers who misuse water bodies. However, homeowners feel they are paying for “someone else’s sin”.

Many fear that the latest demolition drive will trigger a series of such actions in Kochi where violations of CRZ norms are rampant.

On Sunday, two 17-storeyed residential buildings—Jain Coral Cove with 122 flats and Golden Kayaloram with 40 flats—will be demolished.

According to experts, the last big demolition drive was in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai in 2016 when an 11-floor building was pulled down.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

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