Hours before the Supertech twin towers are set to come down on Sunday afternoon, Noida Authority CEO Ritu Maheshwari said around 7,000-8,000 residents and staff from nearby Emerald Court and ATS Village societies have been asked to evacuate their homes by morning.
“As per directions of the Supreme Court, the towers located in Noida Sector 93A will be demolished on August 28… Post blast and after the inspection of the site, residents will be given the green signal to return back to their flats,” said Maheshwari after a spot visit and a meeting with all stakeholders at Emerald Court Clubhouse on Thursday afternoon.
Addressing the press, she said, “I would like to state that all preparations for the demolition are nearly completed. Explosives which were to be loaded in both towers have been put in place. The blast is scheduled for August 28 at 2.30 pm and in 10-12 seconds, both towers will be demolished. Around 80,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste will be generated as a result of the demolition, out of which 50,000-55,000 tonnes will be used for filling at the site; the rest will be sent to a C&D waste plant for processing.”
“The Noida-Greater Noida expressway will be shut between 2 pm and 3 pm. Medical teams at Yatharth hospital and Felix Hospital have been sensitised on any possible emergencies. A team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will also be in place for caution’s sake. Repair and strengthening work in at least 50 out of 55 columns (at Emerald Court) have been completed by Supertech. Crack gauges for monitoring cracks in the affected towers will be placed on August 27. Data collected pre- and post-demolition from the gauges will also be analysed,” she said.
On dust control measures, she said: “Dust will be generated for a minimal time only; moreover, water tankers and smog machines will be provided by the authority to help settle the dust. Mechanical sweeping machines and sanitation staff will be provided by the authority as well. Air quality monitoring stations will assess the impact of the dust generated and the same will be shared with residents to reassure them. Devices for monitoring air quality will also be put in place.”
Maheshwari said a team from Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) is stationed at the site and according to them, whatever repair work has been done is satisfactory. “In case any changes take place, then we have the buffer of seven days granted by Supreme Court. But for now, it does not seem like the blast will be delayed. All pending reports will be reviewed once today evening. After the demolition, a structural audit of towers in the critical zone at Emerald Court and ATS village will be carried out as well,” she added.
According to Utkarsh Mehta, partner at Edifice Engineering – the firm overseeing the process – a 15-member team from CBRI, led by Chief Scientist Dr DP Kanungo, is present at the site to carry out a final round of checks along with the team from Edifice for the next two days.
As per sources, Supertech has assured that strengthening and repair work at an additional seven columns in the affected towers of Emerald Court will be completed by Saturday, which will be reviewed by CBRI as well. Additionally, a team of 50 personnel from NDRF will be posted at the demolition site, they added.
Maheshwari, meanwhile, said the state government complied with directions of the apex court and constituted an SIT against over 26 authority officials who were involved at various times in the illegal construction of the towers. FIRs were registered against them as well. “It definitely sends a strong message – both from the Supreme Court and the government – that punishment will be meted out for any violations,” she said.
As per sources, Thursday’s meeting was attended by representatives of the pollution control board, RWAs of Emerald Court and ATS Village societies, fire department, NDRF, Noida police, Edifice Engineering, Supertech Ltd., CBRI along with officials from Noida Authority.