Twelve seconds is all it took for the Supertech twin towers in Noida’s sector 93A to crumble to the ground. Delayed for months, the demolition finally took place, in line with the directions of the Supreme Court, on Sunday for violating set rules, building regulations, and fire safety norms.
The towers came down at exactly 2.30 pm, and a cloud of dust engulfed the area for several minutes afterward.
There was minor damage in the adjacent society. In a statement, the Noida Authority said, “A team from the Noida Authority and Edifice Engineering inspected the spot and found that no damage/defect had been incurred by the structures of Emerald Court and ATS Village. Ten metres of the boundary wall of ATS Village has been damaged and a few glass panes have broken. This will be repaired as soon as possible…
“The demolition process took less than 10 seconds. A plume of smoke and dust rose after the buildings were demolished, and its impact was felt for 10 minutes… The authority used tankers and sweeping machines to clean the dust that settled on the roads.”
Joint Commissioner of Police Love Kumar said: “It was a safe and successful demolition. We are inspecting the site to check for any damage outside the building. We believe everything was done in a careful manner.”
It took nearly 3,700 kg of explosives to bring the two towers down. What is left behind now is 80,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste, of which 50,000-55,000 tonnes will be used for filling at the site. The rest will be sent to a construction and demolition waste processing plant. This exercise has to be completed within three months, and the Ramky Group has been assigned the task.
Within minutes of the demolition, dust control measures such as anti-smog guns and water tankers were pressed into service. According to the Air Quality Monitoring station at Noida’s Sector 125, despite the dust generated at the site by the demolition, there was no change in the overall AQI value, which remained at 122 between 2 pm and 3 pm.
Supertech had handed over the mega demolition project to Edifice Engineering, a Mumbai-based firm that partnered with South Africa-based Jet Demolition.
At a press conference in the evening, Jigar Chedda, partner at Edifice, said: “One side of the ATS building compound wall has been damaged but it’s minor. There’s no rubble on the main road. We also checked the crack gauges on neighbouring buildings. There’s not much change. The buildings are fine.”
Joe Brinkmann from Jet Demolitions said: “Our priority was that nobody gets hurt. There’s no damage from ground vibration or structural issues. We had suspicions since one of the buildings is just 9 metres away (from the towers) but there’s been no damage. Our biggest challenge was the robust structure of the twin towers. We are very happy with the results. There was one wall that was damaged but nothing else was affected. Everything worked out. We had a challenge as we only has 6 months.”
Residents of Supertech Emerald Court, who had gone to court against the construction of the two towers, as well as those from the neighbouring ATS Village, were asked to evacuate their apartments by 7 am on Sunday.
Early in the morning, a stream of cars left the Emerald Court complex — of which the twin towers were a part — and ATS Village as the last residents evacuated. The majority had left the previous night. While many residents headed to homes of relatives or friends, some spent the day at the Parsvnath Prestige complex, which shares a boundary wall with ATS Village, and lay just outside the evacuation zone.
As the towers came down, residents in the Parsvnath Prestige residential complex, many of whom owned flats in the Supertech project, broke into cheers, celebrating their victory against the builder after a nine-year-long court battle.
The day, though meticulously planned, was hectic amid the police presence and high security arrangements. Although locals were advised to stay away from the ‘exclusion zone’, many of them rushed to the Jaypee Hospital flyover and Sector 93 chowk to witness the spectacle. Many families also set up camp at the Sector 93A park.
Vipin Kumar, a resident of Swarnim Vihar, said, “I have seen residents and others struggling to get the building razed for a decade. I came with RWA members and my friends to see it. In 10 seconds, the building vanished.”
Sushil Kumar Nigam, owner of a glass-manufacturing unit, came with his brothers and children to see the demolition. “It’s a win for all of us. My childhood friend Mahendra Jain took this matter to court and fought for years. He is no more, but his good work paid off. This is bigger than any festival for us. A clear message has been sent.”
More than 500 policemen, 100 firefighters, 70 RRF personnel and NDRF teams guarded all the streets near the building. At 2 pm, Noida Police Commissioner Alok Singh, Joint CP Love Kumar, DM Suhas LY, and Noida CEO Ritu Maheshwari came to the Jaypee flyover in an ‘Incident Command Centre’ van.