Plumes of dust as India demolishes illegal skyscrapers
The Supertech Twin Towers collapses following a controlled demolition after the Supreme Court found them in violation of building norms, in Noida, India, August 28, 2022. REUTERS
On Sunday, Indian officials demolished two illegally built buildings in a broad cloud of dust debris outside the capital New Delhi, razing the country’s highest towers in less than 10 seconds.
Crowds shouted and clapped as the 103-metre (338-foot) tall towers collapsed following a controlled demolition as dust covered the residential neighborhood from roofs on surrounding high-rise buildings.
The Supreme Court ordered the destruction of the skyscrapers in the Noida area last year after a lengthy legal struggle determined they breached several construction codes and fire safety standards.
Around 2:30 p.m. (0900 GMT), around 3,700 kilograms (8,100 pounds) of explosives were utilized, according to local media. Explosives were strategically placed to do the least amount of harm to the region.
Police said they were analyzing the extent of the damage. Residents in the area said they would check to see whether their homes had been damaged. Despite the prevalence of illegal building in India, such demolitions are uncommon.
Thousands had vacated their apartments near the blast site for about 10 hours, and scores of police and emergency personnel were deployed for the demolition of the towers containing 850 unoccupied apartments.
Traffic was being slowly restored and firefighters were using water sprinklers to bring the dust levels down around the Apex and Ceyane towers, which had stood on the edge of a busy highway linking India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, to the capital.
Some buildings in the vicinity were covered in white plastic sheets to protect them from debris.
Many users on Twitter believed the decision to blow up the buildings was a stringent anti-corruption measure that would serve as an example and warning to builders and construction businesses.
The blast was predicted to produce about 80,000 tonnes of rubble, the most of which would be used to fill the site and the remainder recycled.
Several households evacuated on Saturday, citing increased pollution and health risks from the large debris.
Sudeep Roy, the owner of a four-room flat in an adjacent low-rise building, said he reserved hotel rooms for the night with family and friends last week.