The Supertech’s Noida Twin Towers which reeked of corruption were taken down and demolished in 9 seconds following the Supreme Court’s order. The nine-year-long battle came to an end with the demolition of the twin towers- Apex and Ceyane. The countdown to the demolition was a huge victory for the residents of Supertech Emerald society against the Noida authority.
- The Noida authority and builders of Emerald society were alleged of illegal construction of buildings.
- A group of senior citizens moved a case against them when they were deceived about the plans they were [promised for.
- The High Court and Supreme Court upheld the twin towers construction to be illegal and ordered its demolition along with a refund to the residents.
- The demolition took place safely on 28 August, 2022 within just 9 seconds using explosives.
Noida Supertech Twin Towers
Apex and Ceyane towers are famously referred to as the Noida Supertech Twin Towers. They were incomplete residential buildings located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. They belong to a real estate company called Supertech’s Emerald Court residential complex. The Emerald residential complex came into existence in June 2005.Noida authority allotted plots for construction in November, 2004. The original plan was to construct 14 buildings with 3, 4, and 5 BHK flats, as per the plan submitted by New Okhla Industrial Development Authority for Emerald Court. Only later in 2009, the addition of the twin towers, Apex, and Ceyane to the Emerald Court Development plan was decided. They were to be a 24-storeyed building on a triangular site, formerly allotted for a green area.
The Supertech Company revised its plan again in March 2012 which included having 15 instead of 14 buildings, the number of floors upgraded from 9 to 11, and the height of the twin towers increased from 20 to 40.
The Supertech twin towers had two towers Apex and Ceyane. The initial plan was to build 40 floors each with 915 flats, 21 commercial shops, and two basements. Both are of different heights. While Apex tower had 32 floors and was 102metres tall, Ceyane had 29 floors and stands 95mettres tall.
The legal case against the twin-towers
The dispute began in 2009, when Supertech constructed the twin towers violating the bye-laws. Four residents -M K Jain (59), Ravi Bajaj (65), S K Sharma (74), and Uday Bhan Singh Teotia (80) were the primary ones to raise an alarm against the construction. The society there initially comprised 15 towers and 660 flats and the senior citizens formed an Apartment’s Owner Association (AOA). They felt deceived when Supertech failed to provide a luxurious building with 82 per cent open area as promised. Uday Teotia, AOA president of Emerald Court said that they were not even given half the amenities that were paid for and the materials used for construction were also of low grade. The basements were flooded with water during the 2010 floods. Later it was found that the builder was planning to build two 40 floors towers in the area where the shopping complex and garden were to come into existence.
The original building which was first constructed and had residents in it was just 9 metres from the twin towers. The National Building Code, 2005 and Noida Authority’s bylaws laid down rules that there needs to be atleast 16mtere distance between the two buildings. When the residents approached the builders, Noida authorities, and police, they received no proper response.
A PIL was filed in the Allahabad High Court in December 2012. Many residents of the Emerald Court were retired government officials. Supertech has already constructed 13 floors. Two years later, the verdict was delivered in 2014, in favor of residents ordering the towers to be demolished. The builders were ordered to refund the money and slammed the Noida authority.
Supertech and Noida authority filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the High Court order. 30 hearings took place over the course of seven years and the legal expenses were huge. M K Jain raised money from the resident members and he had red for the additional expenses.
The Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s 2014 decision on 31 August, 2021 as it violated India’s National Building Code and the nine-year battle came to an end. The court said that Noida authority officials were guilty of corruption and they are to refund the buyers with a 12 % interest rate. Emerald Court RWA was awarded to pay a sum of Rs.2 crore rupees for the difficult situation caused by constructing the towers that blocked the sunlight and fresh air. Forum for People's Collective Efforts (FPCE) was overjoyed with the landmark judgment in the real estate sector and stated that this should prevent any illegal construction in the future.
The Supreme Court had cited multiple incidents involving the coalition of the builders and Noida Authority in the construction of buildings that violated building codes. Some officials were also found to have committed illegalities in approving the construction. The Supreme Court said, "The case has revealed a nefarious complicity of the planning authority in the violation by the developer of the provisions of law." The builders also deceived the home-buyers as the new plan to construct the twin towers removing the garden was done without the consent of buyers.
Demolition of the twin towers
The Supertech Emerald Court housing society was to be built in Sector 93A in Noida. The Noida authorities sanctioned the building plans in 2005 to construct 14 towers with 9 floors each but later it was revised to 40 floors each. This led to the agony of the residents of Emerald Court and the society’s welfare association moved a case to the Allahabad High Court alleging illegal construction. Both the High Court and the Supreme Court in their 2014 and 2021 judgments respectively held the construction as illegal and that it had violated fire safety guidelines, minimum distance requirement between two buildings, and building codes.
21 August, 2022 was the deadline given by Supreme Court to demolish the Supertech’s twin towers but was extended by a week till August 28, and a buffer period was granted from August 29 to September 4 to meet any contingency in case of weather conditions. Noida authorities and Roorkee’s Central Building Research Institute have given the duty to demolish the buildings to Mumbai-based Company Edifice Engineering and a South African firm, Jet Demolition that destroyed the building by an explosion. The demolition took place in just 9 seconds with more than 3700kg of explosives and was recorded to be the first building with more than 30 storeys to be demolished in India. Around 9640 drills were made across the columns of both towers for the demolition.
The demolition took place under the 100 crore insurance policy, while premium and miscellaneous costs were to be borne by Supertech.
The Supertech twin towers in Noida which symbolized illegal construction and corruption were demolished on 28 August, 2022. This was the biggest demolition ever in India and the building was claimed to be taller than Qutb Minar. The nine-year battle ended with the demolition of the towers using explosives by waterfall implosion technique within just 9 seconds. No other buildings were damaged during the controlled explosion even though the nearest building was within 9metres of distance. However, it left behind a residue of 55,000 – 80,000 tonnes of debris which would take atleast three months to be cleared off from the site. 21,000 cubic metres of debris is to be moved to the city’s Work Circle-7 limits, to an isolated land measuring 5-6 hectares and the remaining is to be buried in the pit of the twin tower’s basement.
The demolition took place between 2.15p.m and 2.45p.m on 28 August, 2022 on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. During the explosion, 5000 residents and pets from the closest building of the demolition, Emerald Court, and ATS village were evacuated along with the vehicles. The residence was allowed only after the safety clearance officials authorized it. Water tankers and anti-smog guns were also kept on site to check on dust pollution after demolition. Cooking gas and electricity were shut down for safety reasons.
The road around the demolition site was heavily barricaded. No humans were allowed within the 500 metres exclusion zone of the towers during the explosion except for the squad carrying out the same. Around 500 police and traffic authorities along with Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed at the site. The flights within one nautical mile radius above the explosion were stalled and the city imposed a no-fly zone for drones.
The Noida Supertech Twin towers were razed down following the Supreme Court order on grounds of illegal construction. The building that ranges upto hundreds of metres in height was the biggest ever demolition in India and was a harder blow at corruption. All precautions were taken during demolition and no civilians were harmed during the demolition using explosives by the waterfall method.