After the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of the twin 40-storey residential towers of Supertech’s Emerald Court project in Noida over serious violations of building norms, the real challenge is how to go about it as no building of such height has ever been demolished in India before, thus necessitating help from international experts.
According to planning and infrastructure expert Abhinav Singh, this is a historic decision, but there are challenges as several buildings already exist next to this twin towers.
He said, if the two towers will be demolished, a vibration will be created which can damage the structures surrounding it.
He said, “There is no expert in India to demolish such a building, we will have to take help from abroad.”
However, if other experts are to be believed, this building will have to be demolished non-explosively, step by step manually and in a phased manner. For this, huge manpower will be required and it will take a long time.
Architect Ankur Vats told IANS, “The building can be demolished through a hybrid model — the upper floors manually and lower floors by explosive devices. If we use shuttering it will be very expensive.”
“Being attached to the basement of the adjoining building is also a challenge, this in itself would be a unique thing in India.”
In fact, the Supreme Court has ordered the demolition of Noida’s 40-floor twin tower of the Supertech Emerald Court project within three months, terming it illegal.
Apart from this, the Supreme Court has said that all the flat buyers should be refunded their money within two months, with 12 per cent interest.
Dharmendra Singh bought a flat on the 9th floor of the twin towers in 2009. He has already paid Rs 42 lakh out of the total Rs 48 lakh.
He told IANS, “We will be given 12 per cent interest as per the Supreme Court’s decision, but the High Court had asked to give 14 per cent. We didn’t invest the money for interest but had dreamed of a house by spending all the deposits.”
“We will file a petition in the Supreme Court as to what action was taken against the Noida Authority. The Noida Authority should give us a house, we don’t want money,” he said.
On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered the setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the collusion between the Noida authority and the real estate company Supertech for the illegal construction of the twin towers. He has also asked to fix accountability by making a list of officers who were associated with this case from the beginning. He has made it clear that strict action will be taken against the officers if found guilty.
In fact, it was the Allahabad High Court which had ordered the demolition of the twin towers in 2014, which was challenged by Supertech in the Supreme Court.
However, the members of the Emerald Court Residents Welfare Association are extremely happy after the Supreme Court’s decision.
Prateek Paliwal, a member, told IANS, “The case was first filed in the Allahabad High Court in 2012. Its decision on April 11, 2014 boosted our confidence. After the verdict in 2014, the builder went to the Supreme Court and hired the country’s best lawyers.”
Pankaj Verma, general secretary of the Residents Welfare Association, told IANS, “Everyone is happy that ‘Monster Tower’ will be removed. No emergency vehicle could come here in case of fire. People living in the nearby buildings are very happy.”
Advocate K.K. Singh, who has been associated with the matter, told IANS, “Some officials of the government and the authority in connivance with the builder were cheating the buyers. All building rules were flouted. Rules were changed in 2006, 2009 and 2012, after which a petition was filed in the court.”
He added, “The buyers have to be returned the money in two months. These two towers are of 40 floors having 915 flats and 21 commercial shops. While 633 flats were booked immediately at the time of the launch, some of the buyers have got the money back. But the rest of the buyers are still waiting for their money.”