Updated: March 1, 2022 1:20:15 am
The New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida) on Monday informed the Supreme Court that demolition of the illegally constructed twin towers of real estate major Supertech Ltd in its Emerald Court project has commenced and will be completed by May 22.
The SC had on February 7 directed that the demolition of the 40-storey towers start in two weeks.
On Monday, senior advocate Ravindra Kumar, appearing for the Authority, told a Supreme Court bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant that following the February 7 order, a joint meeting of stakeholders was convened on February 9. He added that the debris will be removed by August 22.
Taking note, the bench directed that “all concerned, including Noida and Supertech Limited as well as other authorities, shall strictly comply with the demolition schedule, indicated in the status report (filed by the Authority), for completing the work of demolition”.
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It also asked Noida to file an updated status report before the next date of hearing.
On August 31, 2021, the SC had upheld an Allahabad High Court ruling asking the builder to demolish the twin towers and sanctioning prosecution of officials. The SC found that the towers flouted regulations regarding distance to be maintained between buildings, fire safety regulations, and were constructed “through acts of collusion between the officers of Noida… and the” group. It also gave the go ahead for prosecuting officials of both for violation of the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Area Development Act, 1976 and Uttar Pradesh Apartments Act, 2010.
The SC pointed out that the purpose of the regulations is to ensure the protection of the environment and the well-being and safety of those who occupy these constructions and “when these regulations are brazenly violated by developers, more often than not with the connivance of regulatory authorities, it strikes at the very core of urban planning, thereby directly resulting in an increased harm to the environment and a dilution of safety standards”. Therefore, it added that “illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law”.
Subsequently, on January 12, 2022, the top court pulled up the group for not complying with its order to demolish the towers and warned its directors that they will be sent to jail for “playing truant with the court”.
On February 4, 2022, it also directed that refunds, as computed by the amicus curiae, shall be paid to home buyers on or before February 28.
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